Career options in Journalism and Mass Communication

Mass communication and journalism is a rapidly growing field of study. The world is now connected through the media. The information we get daily is the hard work of the mass communication industry. They are constantly working to provide us with the latest happenings around the world every moment of the day. 

But this is not a job of just a handful of people. Thousands of people work day and night on-screen and off-screen.

Earlier it was assumed that the only career option after a degree in mass communication and journalism would land you a job as a reporter or an anchor. And it was not considered a cup of tea for everyone.
But today, people are becoming well aware of the different roles people in this industry play and choosing to opt them as a career. 

If you are confused as to what are the many job options in this industry, below is a list of some of the jobs other than the commonly known ones. 

  1. Public relations:

These are the people who serve as a representative for businesses, institutions, persons and government bodies. PR executives launch campaigns through print, electronic, and online media. Their main role is to create and develop a brand and help them build a positive image and communication in public. You also have to make sure that correct information about your client is being conveyed to the people at the right time.

To become a PR executive you need to have good communication skills, creative, reliable and tech-savvy. Moreover, you need good written and oral skills, strong command over language and good organising skills.

  1. Photography:

As a professional photographer, you will be responsible to manage artists/products, set lights, manage time and create quality content. Your job is not limited to clicking photos only. You can pick one or more than one genre of photography. The genres include candid, food photography, photojournalism, wildlife, fashion or interior. 

If you have a passion for photography and make a career in it, this is the job for you. You must be tech-savvy and willing to learn on the go. The main aspect of this job is to capture emotions and moments.

  1. News Editor:

The job of news editor involves deciding which news stories need to be printed. He manages and produces news to present information with flow, accuracy and within a time frame. They work as a coordinator with other team members and other departments. 

  1. Sound engineer:

They work in films, music, television and radio. They can also work for live performances and shows. They handle tasks like adding sound effects to recordings, resolving technical problems, performing duties assigned by directors and producers. Qualities you must have are, editing techniques and different audio recordings to perform well with the various tasks appointed.

  1. Art director:

The look after the creation of visual material for print, advertisement, film production and other related things. The see how to present the concept visually and which photographs or design elements in the best way possible. Their role is to develop the overall style of publication, television and advertising campaign. They understand the designs elements of projects and keep the projects on budget within the given time frame. 

There are other job opportunities as well. The list is long and this is a field that people are not ready to explore completely. 

But as people are becoming aware, they are seeking jobs in this field. Some other jobs you can try in mass communication and journalism are:

News reporter 

TV correspondent 

Producer 

Radio jockey 

Content writer 

Sound mixer 

Screenwriter 

Film writer 

And the list goes on. Some qualities are specifically important in people working in the mass communication industry. They should be inquisitive, alert, confident, patient and enthusiastic. 

If you are looking to pursue a career in mass communication and journalism, these are some of the options out of the many that you can opt for. The jobs are well paying and you get to learn something new every day. 

Students and Stress

In the exam hall or before the exams everybody feels the butterflies flying in the stomach. This is how we experience stress during examinations.

What is stress?

Stress is the physical and mental response of the body to demand made upon it. It is the result of our reaction to outside events. Stress is an outcome of:

  1. Examinations and surprise tests. We get stressed during our examinations. Most of the time we get nervous we don’t know the answer to some questions. Our hands start sweating and our mind blanks out at that time.
  2. When we don’t complete a particular assignment at the given time, we panic because of the little time left with us. We cannot give our best at this point of time.
  3. Returning to studies after a long break also is one reason for stress in students. We forget many topics that we had previously learned and read.
  4. Because of poor time management many students suffer from a great loss. Sometimes they study very much, sometimes they play too much or sometimes they spend most of their day on screens.
  5. Various problems at home also gives us a lot of stress. We cannot focus on studies or any other work. The fights between parents impacts a child in a negative manner.
  6. Noise pollution is also a cause of stress. Students are not able to relax while listening to continuous sounds coming from a party, construction site and neighbourhood.

Types of stress

  • Eustress – It is the positive cognitive response to stress that is healthy, or gives one a feeling of fulfillment or other positive feelings. The goal is not too far out of reach but is still slightly more than one can handle. This fosters challenge and motivation since the goal is in sight. The function of challenge is to motivate a person toward improvement and a goal.  Eustress is indicated by hope and active engagement.
  • Distress – A range of symptoms and experiences of a person’s internal life that are commonly held to be troubling, confusing or out of the ordinary. Mental distress can potentially lead to a change of behavior, affect a person’s emotions in a negative way, and affect their relationships with the people around them. Certain traumatic life experiences such as: stress, lack of sleep, use of drugs or alcohol, assault, abuse or accidents can induce mental distress. This type of stress is negative and can deplete or destroy the energy for life.

How does stress affect us?

It increases our heart rate and muscle tension and causes headache, jaw ache, insomnia. It causes many diseases like asthma, hyperactivity, etc and the digestion slows causing ‘butterflies’ in stomach effect. It mentally affects us more. We start thinking negatively. it slows decision making ability and stunts the problem solving skills. There is a decrease in our concentration and focus. We often start forgetting about many things. We experience loneliness and worry about the future or the past. Increase intake of alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine to relax. We tend to isolate ourselves from our family members, friends and neighbours. We feel utterly unmotivated and lose our sense of humor.

We should not let stress affect us immensely. We should cope up with stress. Talking to anyone about our mental health can help. There are many methods to prevent stress which I will discuss in the next article.  

World’s oceans continue to warm, despite reduced carbon emissions

Despite reductions in global carbon emissions due to the COVID-19 lockdown, the world’s oceans in 2020 were the warmest in recorded history, according to a new research.

Published in the journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences earlier this week, the study was conducted by 20 scientists from 13 institutes in China, the United States and Italy.

Compared with 2019, the upper 2,000 meters of the Earth’s oceans have absorbed a greater amount of heat, enough to boil 1.3 billion kettles, each containing 1.5 liters of water. The increase in heat within the oceans is responsible for the increasing trend of record-breaking global ocean temperatures, said the research.

Cheng Lijing, lead author of the study and researcher at the Institute of Atmospheric Physics (IAP) under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said ocean heating is a key indicator for quantifying climate change, since more than 90 percent of global heat ends up in the oceans.

“However, due to the ocean’s delayed response to global warming, the trend of ocean warming will persist for decades at least,” said Cheng, explaining that the world’s ocean temperatures kept rising last year, despite reports that global carbon emissions fell as people stayed indoors due to COVID-19 restrictions

The study also found that over the past eight decades, the world’s oceans have been warmer in each decade than in the previous one. The effects of ocean warming manifest in the form of more typhoons, hurricanes and extreme rainfall.

In addition to ocean temperatures, researchers involved in the study calculated the salinity of ocean water. They found that areas of high salinity had increased in salinity, whereas the opposite was true for areas of lower salinity.

Researchers also shared data recorded by China’s IAP and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the study.

CORONAVIRUS ON ICE CREAM CARTONS

After declaring itself Covid-free last year, China is witnessing another wave of corona cases.

And according to the latest reports, the novel coronavirus was found on an ice cream carton coming in from eastern China. 

The Daqiaodao Food Co, Ltd in Tianjin, adjacent to Beijing, was sealed and its employees were being tested for the coronavirus. But there was no indication that anyone among the employees had contracted the virus. 

The batch contained more than 29,000 cartons and most of it was not yet sold. Only 390 cartons were said to be sold to Tianjin. They are now being tracked and authorities elsewhere were notified of sales to their areas. The government said that they have recalled the cartons from the same batch. 

The ingredients included New Zealand milk powder and whey powder from Ukraine, the government said. 

On Saturday, the Health Commission of China blamed the travellers and imported goods saying they brought the virus from abroad. 

Whereas on Sunday, China reported 109 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, two-thirds of them in a northern province that is close to national capital Beijing, though no deaths have been reported. 

Currently, its death toll stands at 4953 and total cases at 88,227.

China was the first country to report a case of coronavirus in Central Wuhan in late 2019. The pandemic is said to have originated from that very place. 

Earlier this month, a team of WHO scientists travelled to China to discover the origins of the novel coronavirus.

According to reports, the Chinese government has banned the entry of two scientists. The Chinese government is of the view that the disease came from abroad and has highlighted what it says are discoveries of the coronavirus on imported fish and other food. But this theory has been rejected by various economies around the world.  

The WHO team says that the motive behind the investigation is not to blame some but to find the scientific answers. It is about studying an important interface between the human kingdom and the animal kingdom.

The investigation will apparently take months to complete even in the best circumstances. The team must also navigate attempts by China to politicize the inquiry.

The novel coronavirus has killed nearly two million people since the first outbreak first emerged in Wuhan. 

Thousands of mutations in the virus have taken place as it has passed from person to person around the world, but new variants recently detected in Britain and South Africa are seemingly more contagious.

Britain has imposed a lockdown for the third time since the first outbreak in the country. Other countries have also reported cases of the new variant and have imposed a strict check on the people entering the country. Adequate measures are being taken all around the world to control the mutant variant.

India’s Favorite Beverage – Chai

Every Indian household has one thing in common – a tea in the morning, a tea in the evening. But how much do we know about our Chai ?

Origin of Tea

Tea was first drunk in China as far back as 2700 B.C.! In fact words such as tea, ‘chai’ and ‘chini’ are from Chinese. There are various legends about the origin of Tea. There is one about the Chinese emperor Shen Nung who always boiled water before drinking it. One day a few leaves of the twigs burning under the pot fell into the water giving it a delicious flavour. It is said they were tea leaves. There is also an Indian legend about the origin of tea. Bodhidharma, an ancient Buddhist ascetic, cut off his eyelids because he felt sleepy during meditations. Ten tea plants grew out of the eyelids. The leaves of these plants when put in hot water and drunk banished sleep.

Masala Chai

Masala Chai originated in India. In India, many herbs and spices are added to the tea. Each family has their own version of making tea. It is a tea beverage made by boiling black tea in milk and water with a mixture of aromatic herbs and spices. Tea plants have grown wild in the Assam region since antiquity, but historically, Indians viewed tea as an herbal medicine rather than as a recreational beverage.

In the 1830s, the East India Company became concerned about the Chinese monopoly on tea, which constituted most of its trade and supported the enormous consumption of tea in Great Britain. Then, british colonists noticed the existence of the Assamese tea plants, and began to cultivate tea plantations locally. However, consumption of black tea within India remained low until the promotional campaign by the Indian Tea Association in the early 20th century, which encouraged factories, mines, and textile mills to provide tea breaks for their workers. It also supported many independent chaiwalas throughout the growing railway system. The official promotion of tea was as served in the Indian mode, with small added amounts of milk and sugar.

Indian varieties of Tea

  • Masala chai – It is the most popular beverage in India
  • Noon chai – The pink tea is a traditional tea beverage from Kashmir and also served in many parts of Rajasthan and Nepal.
  • Green tea – it has been used in Ayurveda and it has also become a part of the modern India lifestyle.
  • Black tea – Black Tea is stronger in flavour and produced by all tea producing regions of India. Large leaved Assamese plants are mainly used for black tea.
  • White tea – White Tea harvested in India, Sri Lanka and China, It’s one of the styles of tea made from the buds and immature tea leaves.
  • Herbal tea – Herbal Tea made from hot water and served hot with varieties of plant material such as hibiscus, rose, etc.
  • Iced tea – It is a common drink in India, mostly available as ginger lemon iced tea or lemon iced tea. Lipton and Nestle brand of tea are two most popular brands of iced tea in India.
  • Irani chai – Irani Chai are masala chai with some spices and a popular quick weekend breakfast.
  • Tandoori chai – It is made in tandoor where clay pots also known as kullhads are preheated in tandoor and again served in fresh and clean kulhads.

Indians and their Chai can never be separated from one another. Now,  I am also going to drink a refreshing cup of chai with tasty and crispy pakoras.

Studying Chaos Phenomena With One of the World’s Fastest Cameras

There are things in life that can be predicted reasonably well. The tides rise and fall. The moon waxes and wanes. A billiard ball bounces around a table according to orderly geometry.

And then there are things that defy easy prediction: The hurricane that changes direction without warning. The splashing of water in a fountain. The graceful disorder of branches growing from a tree.

These phenomena and others like them can be described as chaotic systems, and are notable for exhibiting behavior that is predictable at first, but grows increasingly random with time.

Because of the large role that chaotic systems play in the world around us, scientists and mathematicians have long sought to better understand them. Now, Caltech’s Lihong Wang, the Bren Professor in the Andrew and Peggy Cherng department of Medical Engineering, has developed a new tool that might help in this quest.

In the latest issue of Science Advances, Wang describes how he has used an ultrafast camera of his own design that recorded video at one billion frames per second to observe the movement of laser light in a chamber specially designed to induce chaotic reflections.

The camera makes use of a technology called compressed ultrafast photography (CUP), which Wang has demonstrated in other research to be capable of speeds as fast as 70 trillion frames per second. The speed at which a CUP camera takes video makes it capable of seeing light—the fastest thing in the universe—as it travels.

But CUP cameras have another feature that make them uniquely suited for studying chaotic systems. Unlike a traditional camera that shoots one frame of video at a time, a CUP camera essentially shoots all of its frames at once. This allows the camera to capture the entirety of a laser beam’s chaotic path through the chamber all in one go.

That matters because in a chaotic system, the behavior is different every time. If the camera only captured part of the action, the behavior that was not recorded could never be studied, because it would never occur in exactly the same way again. It would be like trying to photograph a bird, but with a camera that can only capture one body part at a time; furthermore, every time the bird landed near you, it would be a different species. Although you could try to assemble all your photos into one composite bird image, that cobbled-together bird would have the beak of a crow, the neck of a stork, the wings of a duck, the tail of a hawk, and the legs of a chicken. Not exactly useful.

Wang says that the ability of his CUP camera to capture the chaotic movement of light may breathe new life into the study of optical chaos, which has applications in physics, communications, and cryptography

Unrivaled View of Brilliant ‘Planetary Nebula’ NGC 2899

Its distinctive butterfly shape is caused by one star interfering with the gas expulsion pattern of another

star at the center of this tie-dye apparition is collapsing, a process scientists have watched and measured for decades. In 2020 astronomers overcame the 3,000 to 6,500 light-years separating us from this celestial beauty, named NGC 2899, for the clearest picture of it yet.

Though the phenomenon is called a planetary nebula, the term is a misnomer. These cosmic clouds appear when a star burns through the hydrogen at its core. The outer layers of the star separate while the center falls inward, transforming into a white dwarf. As it caves, the core generates ultraviolet radiation and six-million six-million-mile-per-hour winds. Clouds of gas, laden with elements ejected by the star through its lifetime, glow under the heat of the radiation and are shoved outward by the winds. In the image of NGC 2899, oxygen (blue) is surrounded by hydrogen (pink).

The expelled gas is normally fairly round, so early astronomers in the 1700s assumed the spectacle came from a planet—hence the phenomenon’s name. Discovered in 1835 by English astronomer John Herschel in the constellation Vela, NGC 2899 looks like a butterfly because it is made of two stars. Scientists think that one of them is collapsing andthat the second is interfering with the normal gas expulsion pattern, creating the symmetrical form of only 10 to 20 percent of planetary nebulae. The spectacular sight will eventually show up closer to home: our own sun should reach this phase of its life span in several billion years.

What is Michigan state’s Flint water crisis?

On Thursday, nine former officials who served the state of Michigan in the US, including the state’s former governor Rick Snyder, were charged in connection with a criminal investigation into the Flint water crisis.

Michigan’s Solicitor General Fadwa Hammoud and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L Worth announced that after 12 months of jury proceedings, the nine officials were indicted on a total of 42 counts “related to a series of alleged actions and inactions that created the historic injustice of the Flint Water Crisis”.

“We must remember that the Flint Water Crisis is not some relic of the past. At this very moment, the people of Flint continue to suffer from the categorical failure of public officials at all levels of government, who trampled upon their trust, and evaded accountability for far too long,” Hammoud was quoted as saying in a statement

Former governor Snyder was charged with two counts of willful neglect of duty. “As Governor of the State of Michigan, a public officer did willfully neglect his mandatory legal duty to protect citizens of this state against disaster and/or emergency,” his indictment mentions.

Snyder, who is a Republican became Michigan’s 48th governor and was sworn in on January 1, 2011. He remained in this position until 2018.

What was the Flint Water Crisis?

The Flint water crisis is an ongoing public health crisis that began in 2014 when the City of Flint in Michigan–which has a population of roughly 100,000–changed its water supply from Lake Huron to the Flint river. This switch caused the water distribution pipes to corrode, as a result of which lead and other contaminants were leached into the municipal drinking water.

This led to an outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease, a serious type of pneumonia caused by the Legionella bacteria and other health complications in thousands of its residents. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people can get sick from this if they breathe in mist or accidentally swallow bacteria-containing water into the lungs.

While the water supply was switched back in 2015, the damage was long-lasting and many residents of the city continued to suffer.

In January 2016, the state of Michigan declared a state of emergency and in October the same year, residents of the city were advised not to drink the municipal tap water unless it was filtered.

As per an article published in the American Water Works Association (AWWA) in 2016, which described the water crisis, a few weeks after the water source was switched despite warnings and concerns from some officials, residents started complaining about the colour, taste and odor of their drinking water. In May 2014, some residents informed officials that the water was causing rashes, especially in children.

As per a Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) conducted by the CDC in May 2016, over 66 percent of the households in the city reported one or more adult members experiencing at least one behavioural health issue “more than usual” and 54 percent of the households reported that at least one child experienced at least one behavioural health issue.

But why was the water source changed?

The AWWA article notes that in order to reduce costs for treated water Flint officials decided to join the newly formed Karegnondi Water Authority (KWA) in 2013, which was constructing a pipeline to transmit water from Lake Huron.

In the meantime, the city of Flint had the option to either purchase treated water from the Detroit Water and Sewage Department (DWSD), which was sourced from Lake Huron or treat water from the Flint river on its own.

After officials failed to strike a short-term agreement with DWSD, Flint officials decided to use water from the Flint river and treat it at the Flint Water Service Center (FWSC). But the water wasn’t treated properly at the FWSC, resulting in lead contamination.

The article also notes that while the Flint river water is difficult to treat, “oversights and missteps” combined with “inherent chemical conditions” set the stage for the water crisis.

A report published in 2017 by the Michigan Civil Rights Commission said that race and racism played a role in causing the water crisis even though both black and white residents were victims. The report is based on the testimony of over 150 residents, community leaders, experts, academics and government officials

We are not suggesting that those making decisions related to this crisis were racists, or meant to treat Flint any differently because it is a community primarily made up by people of color. Rather, the disparate response is the result of systemic racism that was built into the foundation and growth of Flint, its industry and the suburban area surrounding it,” the report said.

”The crisis has been the subject of a film and a documentary film. A 2017 TV film called Flint directed by Bruce Beresford starring Queen Latifah featured her as a woman dealing with the effects that the contaminated water had on her and her family. A documentary on the subject, also titled “Flint”, was released in 2020 and is based on half a decade of research into the crisis and the failure of officials to respond to it.

Why WhatsApp is giving users more time to accept its privacy policy

Accepting that it had led to “confusion” and spawned a lot of “misinformation”, messaging service WhatsApp Saturday announced it will be delaying the implementation of its new privacy policy until May 15. This, the Facebook product hopes, will give users more time to “review the policy at their own pace”.

Why has WhatsApp delayed the implementation of the new privacy policy?

Ever since it announced the new policy in early January, there was confusion over whether this means parent company Facebook, which has been facing some trust deficit globally, will get to access user messages. As this confusion, partly caused by a hard-to-understand privacy policy which chose to not spell out how the changes will play out on ground, gained ground, millions of users across the world chose to look at options, even as WhatsApp gave users the option to accept or leave the service

What happens now?

Nothing really changes in the privacy policy, which WhatsApp later clarified does not change anything when it comes to personal messaging and only impacts some new messaging with businesses. However, now users have till May 15 to read through, internalise and accept the new policy and its changes. Earlier, the deadline was February 8, which had added to the panic among users and fears that something drastic is on the anvil.

WhatsApp has also reiterated in the new post that users have nothing to be worried about. “WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. Which is why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook,” it says.

Will this help WhatsApp end the exodus of users?

To a certain extent, yes. But the damage has been done. What the new privacy policy has done is remind users about the linkages between Facebook and WhatsApp, which many would not have taken seriously so far. With Facebook’s not-so-great record in privacy, users seem to be rethinking if they want to be messaging everybody from their parents to bosses via a service owned by the social network.

Both Signal and Telegram have benefited from this exodus, so much so that both services seem to be struggling to handle the influx of new users — Signal services were disrupted on Friday. What could come to WhatsApp’s advantage in the long run is the network effect, which will gradually sink in as users realise that those who they want to chat with have not moved along with them to the same alternative option. And this could be what WhatsApp might be hoping from with the delayed adoption of the privacy policy.

How Does Music Help Students?

I guess everybody likes music, at least everybody I know likes music. But most of us don’t know how music affects us and especially students. 

According to my dictionary, music is the sounds that are arranged in a way that is pleasant or exciting to listen to. But to me music is more than that. It is a way of life. Music freshens up my mind and provides a new energy. There are various types of music around the world but I like Indian classical music the most. It can be a little boring at first but as the tempo increases, the singer also starts singing faster and at that time I start dancing (mostly dancing in my mind). 

What happens when we listen to Music?

  • The brain treats the music differently. When we listen to music, many activities occur all around the brain  involved in movement, motor planning, attention and of course, the auditory cortex.
  • If the music feels good to your brain then it releases dopamine. It is basically your brain telling you whether you should or not listen to music.
  • It changes your mood and also changes your perspective about the world. A study showed that people see happy faces when they listen to happy music, but if they happen to listen to sad songs, they are likely to see sad faces. 
  • Music can control your fear and makes you ready to fight. It also stimulates memory from the hippocampus.
  • Music enhances frontal lobe’s function, which is used in thinking and decision making.
  • Song lyrics activate Broca’s and Wernickle’s area which improves the ability to communicate.

Music and Students

Music can create a mood. Study music can be relaxing and help students beat anxiety or stress while studying. Background music is likely to help students improve their focus during long study sessions.

Music can help with memorisation – that is the basis of “the Mozart effect” which suggested that listening to Mozart study music could actually enhance intelligence.

Study music is considered to be beneficial for the intake of vital information. Relaxing music for studying can help to ease nerves and help you beat pre-exam anxiety.

Studies have shown that Music can even increase your performance. A study done by Cambridge University showed that hip-hop music provides an uplifting effect on its listeners that can help them accept, manage and deal better with mental health issues

Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons to listen to music during a study session is because music is proven to help improve cognitive performance.

Music engages the areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions and updating the event in memory. It helps us to improve our focus.

It can cure pain. Similar to how a lullaby would calm you, studies show that music can meaningfully reduce the intensity of pain, especially in geriatric care, intensive care, or palliative medicine. 

Music also increases motivation to do our work. It also improves our immune functions.

Due to so many benefits of music, Plato says, “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”