India and the world needs media professionals who can leverage the best from the world of academia and the industry. The best will originate from the cusp of the classroom, the newsroom and the media lab that hosts ideas for a new emerging global media order
If there is one recession-proof profession, it is that of a storyteller.
From time immemorial, storytelling has never been in short supply. What has happened though is that the art of storytelling itself has transcended genres, brands, Target Groups (TGs), and screens. The story about storytelling is getting bigger by every passing second.
The omnipresent screen that manifests either in your hand or via the mouse or the remote presents an ocean of opportunity. The democratization of information that has happened due to the onset of social media has given storytelling a new paradigm.
It has given rise to an army of writers and narrators across the globe. This has, in turn, led to the fake news virus getting a premium on trigger happy platforms. There is information clutter, where hate and vitriol are passed off as journalism.
The era of serving nuisance as nuance has truly arrived.
This is where the need for sanitizers to rid the information highway of the virus has become an immediate imperative. To put it mildly, professional media training is the password to the development of a secular clutter-free information world.
To partake of the media opportunity, a formal academic orientation is a MUST. And to make the best of the training, a media careerist must invest in a proposition that truly hosts the intersection of academia and industry.
India and the world needs media professionals who can leverage the best from the world of academia and the industry. The best will originate from the cusp of the classroom, newsroom and the media lab that hosts ideas for a newly emerging global media order.
Accordingly, the best trained will be best placed. The information industry is not merely about either the newsroom or a film city, it is about the multitude of ubiquitous crafty storytellers.
What is the DNA of these storytellers that the industry would like to host?
– Multi-task (be platform agnostic): Researcher, reporter/scriptwriter/producer/anchor
– Multi-media (the lines between print, television and digital are blurring)
– Bi-lingual and preferably tri-lingual
– Domain knowledge (journalists are said to be generalists but invest in one domain)
– Imagine news, information, entertainment, advertising as one – Defined as CONTENT
How does one get to pick up so many skills in one go? How does one ride the CONTENT bandwagon? The mantra: learn, learn and unlearn.
Invest in media infrastructure where your life and career does not revolve around a one-size-fits-all formula. Invest in diversity. Pick the mainframe module and add value in specialisation.
It is equally incumbent upon media schools in the country to reorient themselves and create a new paradigm in media education. To begin with, seed entry barriers for embracing aptitude and not just a fad.
The challenge at hand is to use the multitude of platforms on offer but by not creating an uncontrollable militia. The world needs highly skilled information warriors. That is where the big bucks lie.
The ever-changing media landscape had demonstrated, without doubt, the power of the carrier, but it is for media careerists and media educators alike to re-imagine the idea of being the perfect fountainhead for filling up the pipeline.
At a time when the world is getting both hyper-globalized and de-globalized simultaneously, the dateline is universal. The billion-dollar opportunity lies in what we make of it.
(The writer is a senior editor at Network18 Group. He works at the cusp of content and commerce, leveraging the marquee news brands resident in India’s largest and most diversified news network. A storyteller at heart, he firmly believes in the idea of media being powered by the young and restless.)