Mass communication and journalism are two fields often mentioned together but are distinct disciplines requiring different skill sets and knowledge. Mass communication involves creating, producing, and distributing messages and content to a large audience through various media channels. At the same time, journalism reports news and current events to a broad audience.
Both fields require excellent communication skills and a passion for disseminating information to the public. However, they differ in terms of their work's scope, nature, and objectives. This article will discuss the differences between mass communication and journalism, the courses offered, eligibility, colleges, fees, and the admission process.
What is Mass Communication?
Mass communication is conveying information to a large group of people through various forms of media, such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, social media, and the Internet. The primary goal of mass communication is to disseminate information to a broad audience in a timely and effective manner. Mass communication professionals create content and develop strategies to reach and engage the masses in various ways.
Mass communication is a broad field that includes various sub-disciplines such as advertising, public relations, film studies, event management, media management, etc. Mass communication professionals work in diverse industries, such as advertising agencies, broadcasting companies, public relations firms, event management companies, film production houses, and social media companies.
The process of creating and sharing information with a large and diverse audience through various channels, including print, broadcast, and digital media
The practice of gathering, analysing, and disseminating news and information to the public through various mediums, including newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, and online platforms
Broader in scope, covering various aspects of communication, such as advertising, public relations, filmmaking, broadcasting, and digital media
Narrower in scope, focusing primarily on news and current events
To inform, entertain, educate, and persuade the public through various media channels
To report news and current events, expose wrongdoing, and hold those in power accountable
Diverse audience, including the general public, consumers, stakeholders, and clients
Primarily focused on the general public and news consumers
Strong communication skills, critical thinking, creativity, adaptability, and technical skills
Strong writing skills, research and reporting skills, attention to detail, adaptability, and ability to work under tight deadlines
Advertising, public relations, broadcasting, filmmaking, digital media, event management, and corporate communication, among others
Print journalism, broadcast journalism, investigative journalism, photojournalism, online journalism, and multimedia journalism, among others.
What is Journalism?
Journalism collects, reports, and disseminates news, information, and events to the public. Journalists gather information from various sources, conduct research, verify facts, and present their findings in various forms of media, such as newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet.
Journalism is a dynamic field that includes various sub-disciplines such as print, broadcast, online, investigative, photojournalism, etc. Journalists work in news organisations such as newspapers, news channels, magazines, radio stations, and online news portals.
Courses in Mass Communication and Journalism
Mass communication and journalism offer a variety of courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Some of the popular courses are:
- Bachelor of Journalism and Mass Communication (BJMC) - It is a three-year undergraduate course that offers a comprehensive study of mass communication and journalism. The course includes media ethics, laws, advertising, public relations, news writing, and reporting.
- Master of Journalism and Mass Communication (MJMC) is a two-year postgraduate course that provides an in-depth understanding of mass communication and journalism. The course includes media management, research, ethics, digital media, and media law.
- Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication - A one-year course provides a basic understanding of mass communication and journalism. The course includes news writing, reporting, media ethics, and media laws.
- Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication - A one-year course provides an advanced understanding of mass communication and journalism. The course includes media management, research, ethics, digital media, and media law.
Eligibility Criteria for Mass Communication and Journalism Courses
The eligibility criteria for mass communication and journalism courses vary from college to college. However, some of the standard eligibility criteria are:
- Candidates must have completed their 10+2 from a recognised board with a minimum aggregate of 50% for undergraduate courses.
- For postgraduate courses, candidates must have completed their graduation in any discipline from a recognised university with a minimum aggregate of 50%.
- Some colleges conduct entrance exams, and the selection is based on the candidate's performance in the entrance exam and personal interview.
- Some colleges also consider the candidate's work experience and academic performance for admission to postgraduate courses.
Colleges Offering Mass Communication and Journalism Courses
India has many colleges and universities offering mass communication and journalism courses. Some of the top colleges are:
- Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi
- Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
- Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, Pune
- Amity School of Communication, Noida
- St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
- Lady Shri Ram College for Women, New Delhi
- Christ University, Bengaluru
- Department of Media Studies, University of Delhi
- Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad
- Asian College of Journalism, Chennai
Fees for Mass Communication and Journalism Courses
The fees for mass communication and journalism courses vary from college to college and depend on the course and the level of education. The fees for undergraduate courses range from Rs. 1-3 lakhs per annum, and for postgraduate courses, it ranges from Rs. 1-5 lakhs per annum.
Admission Process for Mass Communication and Journalism Courses
The admission process for mass communication and journalism courses varies from college to college. However, some of the standard admission processes are:
- Online Application - Candidates can complete the application form online on the college's website or a centralised portal. The application fee can be paid online or through a bank draft.
- Entrance Exam - Some colleges conduct entrance exams to shortlist candidates for the course. The entrance exam may include a written test, group discussion, and personal interviews.
- Merit-Based Admission - Some colleges offer admission based on the candidate's performance in the qualifying exam. The college may also consider the candidate's extracurricular activities and work experience for admission.
Career Challenges in Mass Communication vs Journalism
Both Mass Communication and Journalism can be exciting and challenging careers, but there are some critical differences in the challenges that professionals in each field may face. Here are some examples:
Challenges in Mass Communication:
- Keeping up with rapidly evolving technologies and communication platforms.
- Navigating the complex legal and ethical issues surrounding media ownership, content creation, and distribution.
- Balancing the need to appeal to a broad audience with the desire to produce meaningful and thought-provoking content.
- Adapting to consumer behaviour and preferences changes can require frequent pivots in marketing and communication strategies.
- Maintaining an accurate and up-to-date understanding of the social, cultural, and political trends influencing public discourse.
Challenges in Journalism:
- Maintaining objectivity and impartiality in reporting, despite personal biases or external pressures.
- Ensuring accuracy and fact-checking in an era of rapid news cycles and misinformation.
- Facing potential legal and physical risks, such as harassment, violence, or legal action, while reporting on sensitive or controversial topics.
- Adapting to changes in the industry, including the rise of digital media and the decline of traditional print outlets.
- Building and maintaining a loyal and engaged audience in an era of information overload and decreasing public trust in media.