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With fresh and exclusive content, digital media needs its own identity: Aritra Mukherjee

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Aritra Mukherjee (26), an alumnus oApeejay Institute of Mass Communication(AIMC), has been associated with digital media for more than five years. He is currently associated with Hindustan Times Media ltd as a Senior Content Producer. He doubles up as a correspondent and copy editor for the website and newspaper. With his specialization in handling sports and reporting for digital media, he talks about his journey and anecdotes of digital journalism.

Your experience in the Media industry?
As part of the campus placement, I was sent to News X, Noida with a batch of six students. I worked there only for a couple of months as by that time I had appeared for the huge recruitment drive that ABP conducts every year. I joined ABP for two reasons- better pay and brand. I worked there for 3 years. First as a TV journalist and then as an Assistant Producer. In 2019, I joined Hindustan Times Media Ltd. As a senior content producer.

What inspired you to become a journalist?
Actually, inspiration came from a very dear friend while I was doing my graduation. He had a passion for being a journalist and writing. I have always enjoyed reading and writing. I had never thought that journalism can be a profession or I can actually be a journalist. But, it kind of had a ripple effect on me. This struck me when I was in the second year of my graduation in Communicative English. Then I decided that journalism could be my way forward, based on two reasons—inspiration from my friend and secondly, which later became more important, was my love for sports.

What hooked you to journalism?
When I started to indulge more into the news business when I was preparing for various entrance exams, I got hooked into news. I was completely bowled over by the fact that it’s not a 9-5 job. The rosy picture that every youngster believes and paints in his mind while inspiring to be a journalist. You follow your passion, go out, you will chase and you will probably influence someone’s life, question the government…all these things went through my mind as well.

Why Sports journalism?
I am currently a sports journalist. I have always been a keen follower or lover of sports, specifically in those sports where India has a representation. I am fond of all kinds of sports activities. I love to watch, discuss, and debate about sports. When I was growing up in my college days, I thought perhaps reading and writing through sports and getting access to the sports stars, so journalism could be my gateway.

What are the traits required to be a journalist?
Passion and hard work. Without reading and writing, there is nothing that a journalist can do.. That is basically the primary criteria that everyone looks at. With my little experience that I have got, reading and writing can be improved and people can actually become a reader and a writer, if s/he tries. But if the passion and hard work isn’t coming from within, then this field is not for you. This is a field that requires passion. Passion is the soul that keeps a journalist going. We may not be earning big bucks, we may not be celebrating Diwali every year as we are supposed to be in office, but if that passion and pride of being a journalist is there, you can grow.

Your journey from electronic to digital journalism?
People generally say that print is the fearless form of journalism, then TV changed it. And now digital is the new boom in the industry. Fortunately or unfortunately I have had work experience of working in all these three platforms. While doing my internship from TOI, I learned the hardcore things that a print department goes through. When I came into Apeejay, my specialization was in TV & Radio journalism. In my 5 years of experience I have worked as a digital journalist for more than 4 years.

Your analysis about digital journalism?
Unfortunately, print media is taking a back seat because of us only. As we are not willing to probably wait for 12-24 hours for any news update. We want everything on our phone, we want it quick. Digital media is perhaps trying to find a way that we can inculcate all these things. We are far away from achieving it but in the next 5-10 years, India will be far more equipped with digital journalism. As of now, digital journalism is stuck in rewriting and rehashing. There is very little reporting in digital media. This is one of the important aspects that I would like every Editor to improve in their own desk. There is a need for individual online media organisations rather than an online version of a print or electronic media. Digital needs to work on creating its own presence as that is the way forward. Digital gives you text, images and also visuals for your representations so you cannot say that TV is more powerful.

“The pride, the passion and the energy that my profession of being a journalist provides me, is of utmost important to me.”

-Aritra Mukherjee

Asst Editor ( Newsroom ), who has an experience of a decade in core journalism. Credibility, courage, timelines and media ethics are some of her professional traits.You can reach her at: [email protected]

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