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I know Deepak Karthik from last 2 years, He is a active Blogger and I used to wonder about his knowledge on politics and current issues which are not my areas of expertise, I was surprised one day when he posted that he has joined as a Staff Correspondent (Professional Journalist) with Indian Express in Tamil Nadu.

Reason for me being surprised is, academically he is a Mechanical Engineer but he has the inclination to work for media as he is good at writing and observing the life from different angle, So I thought of sharing the Deepak Karthiks opinion about a career in journalism / media which is his passion.

CT: Tell Us About You?

I am S. Deepak Karthik,A Graduate in Mechanical Engineering but my addiction with blogging activities helped me to change my course towards journalism.
I am a staff correspondent for The New Indian Express daily, which means I am blessed enough to live my dream job.

CT: About Your Profession (Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent) in Few Lines. How did you end up in an offbeat, unconventional and unique career as this?

I am not comfortable to call journalism as a profession, Journalism is a service as we have very limited holidays per calendar and our works if properly implemented can certainly bring a positive difference to peoples’ life. Since we are called as the fourth pillar of democracy, we have broad responsibilities to display the suppressed people’s pain, government’s mistake and also to encourage good moves made by the same each day. In a line, we should not remain biased.

CT: On a scale of 1-5, how do you rate the following

1. Career Growth – 4
2. Job Nature – 5
3. Job Satisfaction – 4
4. Challenge – 5
5. Respect and Fame -5

CT: Tell us about working hours of a Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent?

To my limited experience, there are no specified working hours in this field. Whenever an incident takes place your presence is sought. It can be any hours of the clock. Unlike other jobs, here you don’t need to rush for office by skipping your breakfast and no dress codes as well. very similar to the duties of doctors, police personnel and at times we do have rest hours for relaxing.Depends on type of research. Basically research can be done in Primary (Calls) or Secondary (Browsing) mode. For primary research, timings could be flexible, based upon geographic region.

CT :DO you engage in Work related activities after working hours?

Whatever I encounter in day to day life can be considered as my job related stuff. My experience in public life often ignites an idea in my mind to speak for the cause.

CT: Things you like about Being a Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent?

1) My duty deals with peoples of all profession/service of all branches, it will not confine you within a small circle. So it gives you knowledge of all fields.
2) If your questions are ethical, moral and reasonable, you can slap your questions at the officials of any hierarchy.
3) That fulfillment of bringing a change in an individual life by displaying his agony to wide section of people.
4) The social respect and acknowledgement for your efforts are priceless.

CT: Things you don’t like about being a Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent?

There is nothing such honestly, as far as my work is concerned I am quite satisfied and fortunate to have a supportive organisation behind me which assists me to sustain my dream job.

CT: Work Location and Job Availability in Different Countries?

I am based at Nagapattinam, a coastal district of Tamil Nadu. You can be transferred to any part of the state depending upon the availability and also with your consent. You also hold a chance to work at different location of the globe provided you are well versed in the local language.

CT: Please explain us typically,how career graph of a Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent?

Alike all fields, experience and also your potential helps you to climb places from trainee reporter to senior reporter and also you can choose your fields say crime reporter, sports reporter, education reporter ant etc.As far as I know, Pay in this field is best of standards at par with your experience.

CT: Skills or qualities required to become a Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent?

1) Presence of mind
2) Sound knowledge in politics and chronology of important incidents.
3) Must remain updated about day to day happenings across the globe.
4) Stay alert all the time
finally good linguistic skills.

CT:Your suggestion to aspirants,who want to be a Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent?

Keep writing about your day to day experience in your personal space such as blog, it will help you to realize your stance in writing.Update your political knowledge and keep reading dailies and keep watching news.

CT:How to become a Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent ?

I have no degree in journalism, it is only the broad minded nature of my employer and hard work which earned me a job in journalism.It is highly impossible to get in to journalism without a basic degree in it, i would suggest you to pursue certificate course or diploma in journalism provided you have the hunger within.

CT: It is highly interesting that you got a job as a professional journalist without having a degree inn journalism ?

I found the recruitment advertisement in the daily, then i applied along with a link to my blog. They called me for first round, it was a round for writing articles of different background including crime, accident, press release etc. Then it was a general knowledge and English language test round and finally it was personal interview, where I was asked will I be a sound candidate without a degree in journalism background, I compromised them by telling that though engineering is my background only journalism is my passion and also added that Engineering candidates are also good with English language since students of different state would study along. All went well and finally I was asked to join in within few days.

CT: Name 5 top companies who Offers jobs for Professional Journalist / Staff Correspondent?

1) BBC
2) The Wall Street Journal
3) Hindustan Times
4) The Hindu
5) The New Indian Express