Be sure of your skills

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Be sure of  your skills

Dear Madam,

I am currently in the third year of a degree in Computer Application but I am interested in journalism, which I plan to do after BCA. I am not very creative with writing so I want to know which field in journalism would be ideal for me. There are different streams — radio, TV, print, web. I can speak well and want to do work practically.
Riya

Dear Riya,

First, you must find out why you want to be a journalist. There are two sides to a career in journalism — one is the glamourous side of rubbing shoulders with big names and celebrities, and perhaps seeing your face on TV or hearing your voice on radio. The other side is the tedious, hard work for long and irregular hours, working under pressure to meet daily deadlines. Having said that, I really cannot tell you which field of journalism will be perfect for you as I do not have any data on which to make a conclusion. Given below is a list of skills and qualities that a journalist of any medium will require. Use it as a checklist to see if you fit in. A journalist must have an observational eye — for news, research and investigation. Ability to express ideas or facts with clarity and accuracy, creative and critical thinking skills, should be open-minded and have an unbiased approach.

It is important to be alert, curious and sensitive. One must have people skills, ability to plan and manage time effectively. A journalist must be up-to-date with current affairs. Computer skills in this age of technology will add value.
Your writing skill is the bedrock for journalism. A radio and TV journalist may read out the material written by others, however, writing skill, in one way or the other, is an important skill to possess. It would be a good idea to do an internship to help you decide if this is something that you would like to do for the rest of your life.

Dear Madam,
 I scored 49 marks in SSLC for Maths and the scores have not improved since. I took up Science with the hope of improving in maths and then getting a seat in a reputed engineering college. I do not have a strong foundation in the subject. Though I understand concepts, I find it difficult to apply them because of a lack of basics. I am depressed about this. I want to score at least 75 per cent in my II PUC. Please help.
Neha

Dear Neha,

I am glad that you have made an attempt to find out the cause of your poor scores in Mathematics. However, I do not think your poor scores are due to poor basics. I think that your understanding of concepts may be restricted only to the time in the classroom. When you are on your own, either while practising or during tests and exams, you are probably depending on being able to recall the steps to solve a problem rather than understanding and reasoning of the concept/problem. Here are a few tips to help you:

* Avoid copying down the steps of a problem while the teacher is teaching. Instead, understand the concept and reason it out rather than later trying to do it mechanically.
* Ask questions to clarify doubts. I know that many teachers may not like this as they are under constraints to complete a syllabus. But a student needs to comprehend what is being taught.
* You should work out all the problems of a chapter but once a week, you may attempt mixed problems so that you will know if you can answer a question paper which has mixed problems. Do a random selection of problems from across chapters to create your own question paper.
* Collect the doubts while practicing and take it to your teacher or friend to help you understand it better.
If your ‘basics’ are an issue, this is what you can do:
* Before you start practising, write down all the steps you need to know. Refer to books/or ask a friend/tutor to help you revise the basics before you start the chapter.
It is important that you keep going with a positive attitude in mind. Be confident.

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