- Journalism as a career is very attractive as the need for information has never been higher.
- One has to be trained very well in digital media skills as traditional forms have taken a backseat. The traditional form of media is almost dying and irrelevant.
- In the initial years, one can experiment with various forms of journalism before settling into one kind.
- Good communication skills are must and have to be constantly improved.
- The working atmosphere and work culture may not be the best among all professions.
Name – Ramarko Sengupta
Profession – Deputy Editor, Times of India
Age – 35
Gender – Male
City – New Delhi
Industry – Media & Journalism
Where have you been born and raised? And what is your family background?
I was born and raised in Kolkata and Mumbai. I went to school and did my undergrads in Kolkata. Then I moved to Bangalore for postgrads.
My mother is a marketing communications professional and my dad had a career in marketing and sales.
Who all had the most influence on you and how?
My mother has been the most influential person in my life. She has shaped my life’s ideas immensely. I am always inspired by her big heart, determination, and grit.
Please give us a summary of your career so far.
Well, it has been quite a journey now. The details of it can be read from my LinkedIn profile mentioned above.
Very briefly, I started working as a copywriter for two firms for a year each. Then I worked as a senior correspondent and then became the senior editor working with the NDTV group.
Currently, I am working with the Times group in the capacity of Deputy Editor.
Which institutes are best for the education/training of this profession? What are the costs of training?
Journalism has emerged as a very attractive profession in India in the recent years. This is clearly due to a surge in the hunger for knowledge and information.
There are many good institutes; a few I mention here, where the cost of training is between 1–2.5 lakhs.
How does one enter in this profession?
A degree in journalism helps to set the foundation right. One can learn the technical aspects of this profession very well during the training years. Since the field is highly dynamic, it is always a benefit to establish as many connections as possible. This helps one to have a better outlook of his work in a broader sense. I would not deny that this helped me a lot. Needless to say that the communications skills have to be polished from time to time!
What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?
Starting salaries are usually between INR 30k and 35k per month.
For 5 yrs. experience — It varies a lot and depends on one’s growth within the organization or the job changes one makes during this period.
10 yrs. experience — 1.5 to 3 lakhs per month
15 yrs. experience — 3 to 5 lakhs per month
20+ yrs. experience — 5 to 10 lakhs per month
Please describe your work.
I head two verticals – Business and Auto where I am responsible for the coverage of these two beats/domains.
I work for about 9 hours each day and usually 5/6 days per week.
At the level that I’m at; I do not have to work at odd hours and do night shifts. However, working over the weekends and late into the night is not uncommon for me.
What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider a career in Journalism?
The strongest motivation is the pride that comes in being a journalist! Mostly the top-notch professionals in this field are driven by their passion and that makes you one of them!
Journalism as a career is very attractive as the need for information has never been higher.
Income is generally on the higher side in comparison to other professions. The catch here is that the person should be made for this profession.
What are the challenges in Journalism profession?
Apart from this, money does not come easy. It looks glamorous from an outsider’s view but it can be very demanding at times.
Also, I strongly feel that the working atmosphere, especially in India, can be much better! A lot of new professionals cannot take up the burden and quit early.
Work-life balance is at a big risk of being compromised. One can be caught unawares anytime.
Also settling in the way we think of it comes not too soon. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to get established as a well knows face in this profession.
What are the relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding a premium in your job profile?
Currently, all the journalists have to continuously brush up or acquire digital skills since new forms of media are being largely experimented with.
The traditional form of media is almost dying and irrelevant. One has to be on their toes to learn new things every day!
Would you consider an alternate profession at this point in your career?
Perhaps not. Maybe, a different form of journalism like travel writing/ videos etc., but still journalism nonetheless!
My profession gives me the chance to travel and learn new things so often that I cannot think of a better way to do that.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?
I would say that only when someone is very proud of being called a journalist, should one attempt to get into the profession. I am repeating myself here, however, journalism as a profession might sound very endearing but the work pressure and even the work culture is very demanding. Also acquiring technical skills opens up a broader range of work to choose from, as there is no dearth of experimenting currently in journalism! One should have a creative bent of mind to be able to set a unique identity.
Contributing Writer — Aparna Bisht
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