Opting for Journalism 7 years ago, Ajay Singh had started his career as a Correspondent for Education with DNA back in 2008, after completing his diploma in Mass Media from Bhartiya Vidhya Bhawan, Jaipur.
Singh was inspired by his Uncle, who was into the same profession, and aspired to be a journalist since young age. He also came to realize the liberty he’d have, as someone from his profession, when it came to highlighting the irregularities present in the system, and questioning government intricacies.
In 2011 he was recruited by The Times of India, where he currently covers Urban Housing and Development, with their team.
We caught up with him in a brief chat, where he talks more about what a normal work-day in his life looks like, and more details about his professional life. Read on.
1. How different is the being a journalist, from what you initially expected?
The profession is not very different from what I had pictured it to be, to be honest since the Times Group gives us the freedom to write about anything. Although one of the major reasons of taking up journalism was to witness change and it is sometimes disheartening when no action is taken – but apart from this, personally the profession has proved itself to be far more exciting than I had expected.
2. Since journalists are constantly under fire for one thing or the other, what kind of difficulties do you face on a regular basis, as a part of your daily work life?
We, as journalists, are constantly working against the clock. Deadlines are a extremely important and pretty much considered a dreadful term when it comes to us, especially when getting all your facts together regarding a story, in a short span of time can be tricky. Initially, when you’re new to the profession, it is also a challenge to get stories, and quotes, in the first place, however once you build your network, this isn’t all that difficult.
3. What is your favorite part about the job?
There are several for both but the most highlighted positive is that as a journalist, you have the power to bring about change, no matter how small, and question any authority.
4. Following a similar train of thought, what is something you don’t like about being a journalist?
A major drawback is that there is very little money.
5. Where do you see the profession of journalism in the next 10 years?
I can obviously not predict what journalism will be like 10 years from now, however the question that comes to everybody’s mind and is also something that is very frequently brought up – is the quality of reporting. There has also been a large shift in how people consume news and information now. Earlier print was largely the only form of journalism, but with the advancement in technology, one really wonders how long can print actually survive.
6. What advice would you give to aspiring journalists?
The profession is extremely exciting, but you need to be genuinely passionate about the field, given that the remuneration is lesser when compared to other professions, which can be a little discouraging and drive people away.