Journalism’s loss Communications’ Gain
Loss of job. No retrenchment benefit. Wage loss. Compulsory leave without pay. Woes of journalists across India are endless. Lockdown and shutdown phases in the wake of COVID-19 have led to serious issues in the print media industry. Although print versions have always occupied pride of place, the audience is now forced to stay away from it. With the audience turning towards online media for their daily dose of information updates and looking for digital copies of their favourite magazines, advertisers have changed tracks accordingly; drying up the revenue channels for print moghuls and leaving journalists in anguish.
However, opportunities always pop out of adversities. The loss of journalism industry might turn out to be the biggest gain for the communications industry. It is true that the demand for good, relevant and attractive content will always be high. Junior as well as senior journalists who have a flair for churning out great content can now look towards the communications industry to provide them the desired stage. All they need is to hone their skills and update their expertise to adapt to the needs of this vast and multi-dimensional communications industry. Personally, I have seen many successful examples of journalists turning into Corporate Communications heads carving their niche is like Banking, Insurance and Pharma. Policy Affairs is another area where they have an edge given their access to the government machinery from their journalism days.
The present scenario has prompted a surge in communications activities. With travelling across the cities being restricted, communications is now focused on digital channels; advertising and marketing have been technologically revamped to adapt to online media. With quantum of work increasing due to need for better engagement and more visibility, scope for more communications professionals is on the rise. This industry can now dip into the available talent pool of journalists, who can do a great job building on their storytelling capabilities; banking on their creativity. After all, if content is the king, engagement is the queen. Let the story-telling begin!