What is Online Journalism?

What is Online Journalism?

PUBLISH DATE 3rd October 2017

In the current technological era, getting news at a click has become extremely common. We now live in a world where we do not have to wait for newspapers every morning. We can now access information anywhere, anytime just by clicking a button on our phones.

As more and more people are switching to devices like mobile phones, tablets, and laptops, audience for online journalism is growing in India. With that said, the scope of online journalism as a career is also increasing in India making it a lucrative profession.

So, what is online journalism all about?

Simply put, online journalism (also known as digital/ web/ internet journalism) is about any journalistic content posted on the internet. Major characteristics of online journalism include:

• Publishing content in real-time.

• Content can include multimedia elements like graphics, music, video, animation, etc.

• It allows readers to access a news story 24/7 from the newspaper’s online archives.

• It allows readers to react and interact instantly by providing them a platform to post their comments, opinions, etc.

• It allows readers to become participants as they click their way through a hyperlinked set of pages.

• Lack of space limitations allows online journalists to develop a story more fully.

In the current transitioning phase where journalism is changing (be it the way news is captured or received by the audience), many media organisations are making the necessary move towards digital formats. Some such media organisations include Times of India, India Today, The Hindu, Indiatimes, NDTV, The Indian Express, and Dainik Bhaskar. This increasing number of digital media companies has created a huge demand for online journalists over a few years.

What does the job role of an online journalist include?

The job profile of a web journalist includes a lot of researching, writing stories, and interviewing people. Apart from that, online journalists are also required to attend events, press conferences, read press releases sent from PR (Public Relation) persons, and handle phone calls from people who are giving interesting news stories or article ideas.

While working for a website or a digital media company, an online journalist can perform tasks as assigned against different job profiles such as:

• Sub-editor
• Assistant editor
• Web editor
• Deputy editor
• Reporter
• Specialist reporter

The starting salary of an online journalist in India can range between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000. However, salaries of journalists with over ten years of experience can also go up to Rs 80,000 to Rs 1,00,000.

So, looking at this current media trend, if you too are looking towards online journalism as a profession, go through the points given below and kick-start your career now.

Get a journalism degree

All students aspiring to build a career in the field of digital journalism can start by attaining a degree in traditional journalism followed by a specialised course in online/ multimedia journalism. While a course in traditional journalism can provide with all the techniques needed to thrive in the profession, a specialisation in online journalism can hone students’ digital research skills. Furthermore, a digital journalism course can also help students in learning different online technical skills needed for presenting news online. For instance, creating a complete journalism website or gaining knowledge of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and page ranks.

These days, many mass communication colleges in India have started offering digital/ multimedia journalism courses to students at both UG and PG levels. Some such colleges/ institutes include:

College/ Institute

Digital Journalism Courses (UG/ PG)

Loyola College

BVoc (Digital Journalism)

MVoc (Digital Journalism)

Apeejay Institute of Mass Communication

PG Diploma in Digital Media & Online Journalism

India Today Media Institute

PG Diploma in Mass Communication with specialisation in Digital Media

IIJNM (Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media)

PG Diploma in Multimedia Journalism

Diploma in Multimedia Journalism


Build an online portfolio

Having a portfolio in digital mode can help students highlight the best of their work in terms of writing and editing skills as well as expertise in online media. For the same, students can start creating their own blogs. A blog can cover any topic that a student likes as long as it is interesting and well-written.

Opt for internship or freelancing

For students looking forward to a career in online journalism, freelance work can be a good way to refine their writing skills. Apart from that, students can also opt for an internship with an online media organisation to gain expertise. An internship also helps students in showing relevant work experience at the time of a job interview.

Prepare for job interview

Students must note that competition for online journalism jobs in India is increasing with every passing day. Therefore, it is important to go well-prepared for an interview. For the same, candidates are recommended to research thoroughly about the company and its website.

Also, students should note that in a job interview for online journalism profile, candidates are usually tested on their communication (verbal as well as written), interviewing, digital, analytical, and editing skills. Therefore, it is important for candidates to hone their skills effectively.


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