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A journalist is by default extrovert

Created on: 2012-12-14

Robaet Ferdous

Associate Professor, Department of Mass Communication & Journalism
University of Dhaka:DU


Since the subject is Mass Communication and Journalism, so I believe that those who study this subject are professional in terms of communication. So what are the modes of communication? It is his language, words and sentences. So one needs to be good at using language, words and sentences in order to study this subject. Basically those who possess a good command in both Bangla and English as a mode of communication will do better in this subject. Besides those who are creative, imaginative, want to create and discover the unknowns, able to play with language and words can be motivated to taking this subject. They should also have fair knowledge on stories, literature and novels. They should also have intimate relation with dictionaries, they should be careful about spellings. Apart from print media, those who work at electronic media, they need to be more careful on their pronunciations. So the bottom line is, those who have good command on language, words, sentences, dictionaries, literature and most importantly willing to study this subject can do better in this subject.

Specific talents that motivate to this subject...

Like I said before, this subject is more of professionalism. It is not only theoretical. We shall study theories though. Besides there will be field level works and practices. Journalism is a risky profession. So those who are eager to take challenges, can think on a different level, those who are creative, I must say they should be here in Journalism.

Interesting events and competitions...

This subject is not limited to classrooms only. We send our students to field level works. We have courses on photography, video etc. We have links with some international universities as well. Some of our students are going to Norway. They have also done a semester at Nepal. We have study tours and field trips. Besides, our students also experience the excitement of collecting information and simultaneously working the same on photography, video or computer. We have a media center where we have these three categories of instruments, and we have skilled trainers who can impart their knowledge to the students.

Is the subject logical/mathematical/theoretical? Does it demand extra physical labor?

The main idea of journalism is the sense of logic. One of the key aspects of journalism is challenging the authority concerned. He should have ready wit to counter question the authority. So there is a scope of critical thinking in this field. Those who are good in geometry can do well in journalism. Apart from these theories and logics, he needs to practice and apply the same. A journalist is by default extrovert. There cannot be any introvert journalist. A journalist needs to communicate with lots of people. He needs to collect information from his source. Starting from the President to a street beggar, everyone can be his source. So a journalist should create rapport with each and every person.

Goals that can be reached...

After completing this 4 years Honors course and a 1 year Masters course, mainly he/she is a Journalist. But this underlying designation can have several meanings. He can work in radio, print media, electronic media, online media and multimedia as well. These days, you will see that several NGOs and other organizations keep a position like Communication Officer. So being a graduate of this field, there are several opportunities to look at. He can work as a communication officer, communication consultant, media representative etc. Different institutions recruit journalist for Mass Communication with the people they serve. We have courses like mass communication, corporate communication where our students can learn how to communicate professionally. As a result they can work at banks, insurance companies, telecom companies etc. You will be surprised to learn that in Bangladesh, 80% of the people working at different television, newspaper, radio are from journalism. Apart from Dhaka University, students from Rajshahi University, Chittagong University, some private universities are doing extremely well in this sector.

Jobs and job opportunities...

Journalism is perhaps the only subject where students can work part time from 2nd year and 3rd year level. They start working in mainstream television, newspaper and media agencies. So students from middle class families will no longer depend on their family. So there is a huge opportunity of becoming self dependent in this field. There were times when the salary of a journalist was low. But in these days, a journalist can earn as much as 1 lac, 2 lac etc. The starting salary may not be a handsome one. But if he is patient enough to hold on for a few years, he will definitely shine in this field. For that he needs to love his profession. My own student is a CEO at a television channel. He earns nearly 2.5 lac a month. So job availability in this sector is huge. Why? Because in our country the rate at which the media is increasing, it shows that there is a huge demand of journalists in our country.

Our graduates are also working at BBC. Moazzem Hossain, who won the Philips award, he is working at London BBC. My very own batch-mate is working at BBC as well. My student Mithila Farzana is working at BBC. You will find at least 10 journalists working at BBC Dhaka who are from this department. The bureau chief of AP is an alumnus of this institution. So we can see that the job prospect is also huge in international media. Besides, those who are doing higher studies abroad are joining renowned universities like Michigan University as faculty member.

Higher studies...

This is very interesting that this department had an understanding with Oslo University, Norway. This understanding was active for nearly 4 years. Some professors from Norway came to Dhaka University. Some of our teachers went to Norway as well. It was also a tri-lateral relation. Some students from Nepal also came to this department. They were offered to complete a 2 years international Masters course here in Dhaka. So there is an international affiliation in this department. We have seen that our students are going to Germany for higher education. Some are also going to the US, some at Europe.

To the newcomers...

Those who want to study in this department please do not choose a subject just because you got a seat or chance here. There should be a space deep in your mind that you know, you are good at speaking, good at writing, good at playing with words, you should take Journalism as your career. A journalist should have ready wit, he should have the courage to challenge the authority, be it like Prime Minister, President or any other person. This profession is a risky profession. You know well that many journalists have given their life for the love of this profession. So this profession is risky, but it is interesting and challenging. Journalists work for the people. He acts as a voice to those who are deprived. This field is a field for humanity. So those who are eager to embrace journalism, please come forward for the love of this profession, not for the love of jobs and money.