PART 1: Navigating New Horizons: Career Transitions for Journalists in India and Abroad

Woman Reading Smartphone

I am a part of a social media group that came into being after few journos lost jobs, some found it and others decided to create a community where they could help gather support for those who lose in future. The group buzzes every day with members sharing various news media opportunities that come their way.

Now that was the story of how the group came into being. But why am I lemming this article today? Because in 2017, I bid goodbye to my job as a full time TV journalist to take a break and chase my passion to write. I did many few certified educational courses to hone up my skills, set up a website development team and later launched this website THE THINK POT, which now provides additional means of earning to a few in my team.

So what is the idea of sharing my story with you? The idea is to think beyond the box, if one has to do something different or loses the job like my good friend Aadil (name changed to retain privacy). Aadil has a home alone to pay and is the single earning member of his family. So what must Aadil look at? Going back into the same job insecurity of a media job? My experience and that of a few who shared it with me if different. Let’s read what they are writing….

“The world of journalism is a vibrant one, marked by constant change and challenges. Unfortunately, this dynamism can lead to job insecurity, and many talented journalists in India and abroad may find themselves facing job loss at some point in their careers. There mental health takes a great beating and so many end up ending their lives. However, adversity often presents an opportunity for growth and exploration. And it is high time that they start exploring related horizons because they already have the passion to write as well as have great rotary skills. So why not use them all?” Asserts the senior journalist who groomed me into the world of TV interviews and wishes to stay anonymous to let the limelight be at the main cause of this piece.

In this article, we will explore various career options for journalists who have lost their jobs, sharing real-life stories to inspire and guide you through this transition.

Finding New Avenues in India and Abroad
  • Freelance Writing
    Meet Aparna: Aparna, a seasoned journalist in Mumbai, faced a layoff from her position at a leading newspaper. Undeterred, she turned to freelance writing, pitching stories to a variety of publications. Within a year, she had bylines in prestigious magazines and websites, including various leading ones
    Freelance writing is an excellent option for journalists in India. It offers flexibility, allowing you to work on diverse topics and build a portfolio that can attract clients and assignments.
  • Content Marketing
    Meet Raj: Raj, an investigative journalist in Delhi, shifted gears and joined a content marketing agency as a content strategist. His storytelling prowess proved invaluable in creating engaging content for clients, and he quickly climbed the ranks.
    Content marketing agencies/ digital marketing agencies in India appreciate the skills journalists bring to the table, such as research, storytelling, and the ability to engage an audience. You can reach out to them via your LinkedIn Profile by consistently showcasing your skills at the platform. 
  • Teaching and Training
    Inspired by Maya: Maya, a journalist with a deep passion for education, found her calling as a journalism professor at a renowned media school in Kolkata. She not only earns better but also has ample time to devote to her family. Her real-world experience and industry insights enriched her students’ learning experience.
    Becoming an educator or trainer can be a fulfilling way for journalists in India to share their knowledge and nurture the next generation of storytellers.
Exploring Global Opportunities

Corporate Communications
John’s Journey: John, a former newspaper editor from the United Kingdom writes to me that he embarked on an international adventure by joining a multinational corporation in Dubai as a communications manager. His ability to distill complex information into concise messages proved to be an asset in the corporate world. Multinational corporations often seek journalists for their communication roles, valuing their knack for effective information dissemination.

Digital Media Production: The case ofAlex, a multimedia journalist from Bangalore, faced job loss at a traditional news outlet but found new horizons in the world of digital media production. He started a successful YouTube channel and podcast, generating income through ads and sponsorships from a global audience. The rise of digital platforms and Artificial Intelligence  makes it possible for journalists to create and monetize content worldwide, transcending geographical boundaries.

Opportunities Beyond the Borders of News Production

Public Relations (PR) – Sarah, a seasoned journalist from Hyderabad, transitioned into the world of PR when she moved to New York. Her media insights and communication skills helped a tech startup secure valuable media coverage in the highly competitive U.S. market. Sarah informs that she was hired via LinkedIn.  Journalists can excel in PR roles, utilizing their extensive media contacts and effective communication skills to build brand reputation internationally.

Nonprofit Organizations – Jane, a journalist with a heart for social causes, transitioned to a nonprofit organization dedicated to child welfare when she moved to London. Her storytelling skills played a pivotal role in raising awareness and funds for the organization’s global initiatives. Nonprofit organistions in India may not be paying as desired to many, but worldwide NGOs often seek communicators who can convey their mission and impact effectively, making it a viable career option for journalists on an international scale.

The Final Word

Whether you’re in Mumbai or Manhattan, Delhi or Dubai, the key is to recognize that your journalism expertise is a valuable asset that transcends borders. By embracing change and pursuing alternative career paths, you can continue to make a positive impact, tell compelling stories, and thrive in the dynamic world of communication, both in India and around the globe. Your journey may take you to unexpected places, but it’s all part of the exciting adventure of journalism.

If you have any queries, you can reach out to Mahima Sharma via her LinkedIn Inbox. We will soon be sharing part 2 of what courses you can do, to hone up your skills and look for alternate job options in allied media.

Disclaimer: Only first names of the journos above have been shared, on their request, to retain their privacy.