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How to future-proof your journalism career

Last updated on: May 17, 2012 17:06 IST

How to future-proof your journalism career

In an online chat with Get Ahead readers on May 16, Siddhartha Dubey and Sharon Moshavi (details below) discussed how they make a career in digital journalism.

Here are the unedited excerpts

Siddhartha Dubey says, Hello everybody - This is Siddhartha Dubey, Dean & Academic Director at World Media Academy in Delhi. Who wants to chat about journalism schools, where the industry is going and how to be a part of the busy journalism environment in India?

Siddhartha Dubey says, Hi Khanmali -- the future is multi-media journalism. Equipping yourself with the knowing how to shoot, edit, write and perform to deadline while handling stories ranging from politics to fashion. Newsrooms need people to can do all that and more. Its a superfast industry which demands a lot out of people. Look at our website We offer a 1 year post graduate course which at the end of it - you are redy to work in a busy newsroom.

Romeo asked, from where can i do good journalism courses in the middle east? I am from Dubai.
Siddhartha Dubey answers,  at 2012-05-16 15:38:06Romeo - check out World Media Academy, Dubai

khanmali asked, What about fees etc & minimum qualification?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, BA & good English skills

allan asked, Dear Sid and Sharon... I am doing my graduation in economics now. Tell me how can I become a good business journalist in the digital age?
Sharon Moshavi answers, Hi Allan, This is Sharon here. I started my career as a business journalist with BusinessWeek and Forbes. Business journalism really requires good digital skills, in particular. Business news is complicated and digital provides many tools to help make the stories understandable to your audiences. You need to learn to work across all platforms -- digital, writing, video They are all important to learn to tell a story and to convey complex information.

RanjanPrasad asked, Sharon..tell me how important is spoken english when it comes to somebody wanting to join a college of journalism? I don't speak good english but want to become a TV journo.... which colleges are good for me to become a good digital journo?
Sharon Moshavi answers, Hi Ranjan. Media across India in regional languages is growing very much, so you don't need to be able to write a story or do a TV piece in English. However, many of the people you interview, and your editors -- even at non-English news organizations -- will want to speak English to you. So you need to have a basic understanding. The school Sid and I work with, World media Academy, focuses very heavily on hands-on work, so you'll learn alot by doing, rather than just sitting in a class. So there is a lot to be learned even if English is not outstanding. But when it comes to getting a job and doing reporting, you should try to improve your english.

Harold asked, Barkha Dutt is my ideal...infact she is my can i become like her? What qualifications i should pursue?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, harold - good to have u online. lots of folks admire ms dutt. i do not know her - but like u watch her on tv. she is an example of a hard-boiled jouralist who consumes news and facts. she is successful because she works very hard and does not let a story go. journalists have news in their blood - its a funny concept - but its true. I advise to read everything u can - from newspapers to history books to novels. watch movies, tv - talk to people - ask yourself -- whats the story here... have a look at what WMA is up to - u are welcome any day to pop in and check us out

sunny asked, I am a web programmer by chance. I always had an interest in current affairs and debates. Also I used to analyze and jot down a few lines about them occasionally. Can I be a part-time journalist in anyway and at the same time continue with my regular job. I feel I can interpret certain topics well and explain it to others.
Siddhartha Dubey answers, Hey Sunny - good to hear you. Know what -- we are all journalists in a way. Every time u post an observation on facebook or twitter - u are reporting. What u bring to the table is unique - different from me and different from the next fellow. u can for sure be a part time journo. in fact, we have a student at WMA who has a regular job at general electric and attends classes. he has decided he wants to quit his job and be a journalist.

Bob asked, Guys, the much better options in Delhi to this so called World Media Academy are-----Aglow Institute of Media Studies (AIMS), Centre For Image Management Studies (CIMS), Fortune Institute of Communication and Television, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi (IIMC)
Sharon Moshavi answers, Hi Bob, thanks for joining. There are lots of schools out there. I'm with a US non-profit organization called the International Center for Journalists ( We've helped set up WMA to do something a little bit different than most schools here. We are a training organization that works in dozens of countries training journalists. We are very hands-on, working with the latest digital technologies and innovations. We're really focused on a training a new indian media leadership to work in a very changing media environment. So students are trained the way we train professional journalists -- by going out and doing, not sitting a classroom. It's simply a very different experience. IIMC, for example, is indeed a very good school,but it operates very differently.

mailer asked, I currently work as a Financial Analyst. I am interested in Financial journalism. And even becoming a journalist who handles other topics. How hard would it be for me to make this career jump? I write and speak English very well and am also quite well read. Please advice me.
Siddhartha Dubey answers, greetings ... all career jumps are complicated. right from losing your senority, adjusting to a different pay scale to learning how to do a new thing! in this case - reporting and news. check us out we often have folks come to us who are or have done different things in life and want change....

Ankita asked, Hey Sid, advice something on the basics of journalism....
Siddhartha Dubey answers, ankita - how are u.... Read, read and when u are done reading read some more. consume news -- papers, tv, radio and especially websites. look at coverage critically. why did times now cover the story this way and why did IBN do it that way ... check us out we train journalists to become effective multimedia reporters, anchors. if u know anyone who works for a paper or tv station - visit that person's newsroom - excellent way to see how things are done.

zia asked, Hello Mam, Sir. besides writing what other areas are there in journalism
Sharon Moshavi answers, Hi Zia, good to have you here. Writing is only a small part now of journalism. As the media industry changes, it's not going to be good enough to just be a print journalist or a TV journalist anymore. All journalists are going to have to be able to do everything -- write, video, audio, and then engaging with their audiences on social media like Facebook. It's all changing very rapidly. That's why, as US organization dedicated to advancing quality journalism, my organization ( is trying to do things differently here, to enable journalists to work across all these areas. It won't be easy, but it will be very exciting. That's why we've put our faculty, our curriculum, cutting-edge equipment, and our global experience behind world media academy in delhi. We're looking for a small high-level group of students to help show what journalists can do in this new era.

sunny asked, I am pretty confident the future of India is 'Online'. So definitely would like to venture into web journalism(hope there is such a term ;)) since me being a web programmer. Is reporting over the internet as bland as the newspaper reports?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, sunny - u are dead right -- Online is the way forward. india is slower to adapt to it for a host or reasons - largely broadband penetration and money needed to deploy to re-fashion newsroom. if u are digitally aware and have the skills -- you have a job guaranteed!!!!

Sharon Moshavi answers, Hi Sachin, Journalism is a career you do because you love and have a great passion for finding out the truth about things, and bringing that information to people. It's a very rewarding career, but you need to do it because it is something you love -- no other reason!

ABC asked, Is the credibility of print media going up? and so the demand for print media reporters, and journalists? Is there a glassnost existing for females in this field?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, greetings -- great question ! Credibility in print and broadcast is a big issue in India and everybody's morals and ethics are being questioned. Hey -- look at News Corp and News of the World -- This is not an India-alone issue -- its global!! But we are in India - so lets chat abt that. Demand for print only journalists is decreasing. The candidates who end up getting jobs have to edit, shoot, write, blog and write a print article. its all multi skilling.

awde asked, Hello Sid, what are the duration and charges for a journalism course at your school?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, hey awade -- good to have u on the chat. we offer a one year PG course and the fees including tax comes to 2.1 lac rupees. check us out

Patrakaar asked, WMA provides any scholarships?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, yes we do

Patrakaar asked, WMA provides any scholarships?
Sharon Moshavi answers, Also, scholarships will be based on a combination of need and merit.

tharki asked, Sid, y u nt answering red, fearing to revela the truth of dirty jounalism??
Siddhartha Dubey answers, Hi Tharki -- I dont engage in slander. Its not professional. But yes -- as i told another person on this chat. Ethics are a HUGE issue in journalism - globally - not just in India. Journalists are human beings and faced with the same pressures and dilemmas as everybody else. Taking names is not my style though! bgrds,

debashis asked, sir any opportunity for MBA finan pross in journalism
Siddhartha Dubey answers, hey debashis -- excellent, excellent question!! its a great combo and one which is gaining popularity in the USA. As far as I know that combo does not exist in India though

Patrakaar asked, WMA provides any scholarships?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, hey patrakaar - scholarships at wma are based on merit and need and are taken up on a case by case basis

geeta asked, Hello Sid, do you have a placement cell as well? will a student get a job after the course through your institute
Siddhartha Dubey answers, geeta -- good to have u on. placement is a big part of what we do at wma. we put students through internships during their time here - many lead to full time jobs and we help our students with jobs as well. its a very important and serious thing. check us out having said that -- no one can guarantee anyone a job. but u stand a better chance than the next person - because our course stands out!

Patrakaar asked, Today, journalism has taken an ugly shape because of certain bad people....What is WMA's take on disgraced Barkha Dutt? She acted like a middlemen to many political parties? Do you think people like her shall be banned from media?
Sharon Moshavi answers, As Siddartha said, journalism ethics are hugely important, and a journalist's duty is to do his or her best to report the facts. At WMA, we're trying to teach students to report effectively, and not get caught up in gossip. Too much of news media, in India, the US and elsewhere focuses on gossip and opinion. Also, while ethics need to improved, censorship is never an answer.

ABC asked, Sir, will u pl answer the second part ...about glass ceiling for ladies in this field
Siddhartha Dubey answers, no glass ceiling for women in journalism in my experience. my current bosses are both women!!

hanmireddy asked, I have a website but I am not able to earn even a penny from it. Is it possible to make it viable financially?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, greetings ... try and market it differently perhaps. target specific groups - jazz up your site - make it easy to consume and absorb. pictures, videos, blogs - make people want to come to it ... then advertisers will be interested ...

sunny asked, Can you shed some light on the concept of web journalism. How can I begin, and since I have a demanding job (programming), can I take up some online course. But from my personal experience I would prefer a classroom course, however I can still try online courses. Also advice me of any such institute (or course) based in Mumbai.
Sharon Moshavi answers, Hi Sunny, web journalism is not it's own thing. It is a combination of everything -- writing, photos, graphics, video and audio. I don't know what's available in Mumbai, but you could look to find short-term courses that focus on these different aspects. We'll be doing that in Delhi (e.g. short courses on final cut pro, using social media, video shooting). I would imagine you could find short courses like that in Mumbai.

debashis asked, Dubey sir _- i .ve in 9yrs exp in share commdity tradiny & insurance operation & trainning,so how coul I try into this fied , i ve a great int in journalism
Siddhartha Dubey answers, hey debashis -- check us out we have folks who are looking for a career change. its not easy - it takes a lot of energy to do so. but u have to love news and want to report, write, take pictures. ask your self - why do u wanna be a journalist

Patrakaar asked, Why WMA do not motivate people from only Hindi-speaking background.....why knowing English is desirable/must???
Siddhartha Dubey answers, great point -- but we teach in english you see. but the bigger growth is in regional tv - that is for sure ... u have a really good point there!!

ABC asked, Does WMA offer doctorate course in journalism for the working professionals?
Sharon Moshavi answers, We do not offer a doctorate. We offer a 10-month PG certificate, which is certified by the International Center for Journalists in Washington. We are though planning short term courses on everything from final cut pro to digital reporting to video storytelling for professional journalists. Stay tuned on that in the coming months.

Patrakaar asked, Mr. Siddharth Dubey , i liked your writing -------Women dona€™t become bimbos a€" folks like Frisky make them bimbos. Good one!!!
Siddhartha Dubey answers, thank you -- i wrote that article for a friend who works for that news site. u see the growth in Online news is huge ... those guys incorporate print, pix, video and blog -- thats the future

Patrakaar asked, Why WMA do not motivate people from only Hindi-speaking background.....why knowing English is desirable/must???
Sharon Moshavi answers, Hi Patrakaar, One other point on this: unfortunately, many newsrooms (even Hindi-speaking ones) operate behind the scenes in English. And many of the people you interview will expect you to speak English. That is part of the issue.

geeta asked, Thank you for the answer
Siddhartha Dubey answers, u are welcome geeta

Suresh asked, do you give training for free. I am very poor
Siddhartha Dubey answers, nothing is for fee suresh ... but as we have scholarships and student loans .. come and chat to us if u are interested -- education is important and often there is a way

ABC asked, Thank you Siddharth for your answers!
Siddhartha Dubey answers, welcome abc

Patrakaar asked, you have given all those lengthy details on Fee for Indians, foreigners, refund policy , eligibility but no info on Scholarships??? Why's that so? In last batch has any body been given any scholarship? The reason I am sking it again n again is bcoz sharing no information on your website gives us the impression that you folks are apprehensive about giving free learning or teaching
Sharon Moshavi answers, Patrakaar, WMA gave a number of scholarships to students in its first year. Some were on full scholarship, some were on partial scholarship. we really do base it on the merit and needs of the students. we're not trying to be evasive. If you are a fantastic student, and you can demonstrate real need, we'll do our best to assist.

Siddhartha Dubey says, thanks everybody - our time is up - i hope this was useful for you. i enjoyed it - check us out

Sharon Moshavi says, Everyone, thanks so much for joining. It's been a pleasure. And check out It's backed by the International Center for Journalists, and we have a very good reputation with journalists and news organizations around the globe. One of our students here just got hired by The New York Times!

Patrakaar asked, What's difference between Page 3 journalist and a hard-core journalist? What type of journalists you would like to produce?
Sharon Moshavi answers, We want to produce credible, ethical journalists who can work across multiple media. Whether they are news-driven or feature journalists, that is fine. All segments of media need good journalists. Good chatting with you, Patrakaar. And thanks again, everyone!

ABC asked, The journalists come from different faculty - Literature, Journalism and Mass Communication etc. Which one is more capable in the field/desk? and why?
Siddhartha Dubey answers, quick one abc ... in my experience the most interesting writers and broadcasters are those who come from diverse backgrounds. they bring to the newsroom a unique perspective of the world. no one is more capable on the field than the desk. i had a guy in my j school who was a US Army Ranger - he is now a war correspondent for the NY Times. MY last job - i trained a model as a tv anchor - she is now an amazing stock markets newsreader ... its all about the news and how much u love your job.

debashis asked, thanks madam for& dubey sir for a having a nice session
Siddhartha Dubey answers, bye all - logging off and thanks again

About Siddhartha Dubey

Siddhartha Dubey is an ICFJ Knight International Journalism fellow who has 20 year of global broadcast, digital and print journalism experience. He has worked as a writer, producer, editor and anchor in the United states, Europe, Asia and helped launch two television shows/channels in India. Siddhartha began his carrer at a community nespaper in London. He went on to work for Visnews, Dow Jones TV, CNBC Asia, Reuters andthe Times Group (ET Now) in India. Most recently, he has focussed on bringing better standards, professionalism, on-air capabilities and news judgment to India'growing television news industry.

Siddhartha Dubey has covered general elections in India, riots, and the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in the early 1990s. He spent servel weeks in Afghanistan after the callapse of Moscow-backed goverment in Kabul, and has reported from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Jakarta, Switzerland and Zimbabwe on stories ranging from the persecution of Muslims in Burma to the WorldEconomicForum.

About Sharon Moshavi

Sharon oversees new project development with an emphasis on developing innovative digital media projects. She also serves as programme director on projects in India and Malaysia. Previously she worked as communications manager at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Moshavi reported internationally from Asia and the Middle East for more than a decade, based in New Delhi, Jerusalem and Tokyo, returning to the United States in 2003. She has written for The Boston Globe, Newsday, BusinessWeek, Forbes, The New Republic and U.S. News & World Report, among others. She also produced radio documentaries and essays for NPR, BBC and CBC. A native of Baltimore, she has a B.A. from Columbia University. Moshavi is proficient in Japanese.