Our correspondent Aishwarya Pimpley interviewed Mr. Soumyadipta Banerjee and here are a few bytes from their conversation.
Q: People generally say people opt for Advertising rather than Journalism because of the monetary benefit; how true do you think this is?
A: There is a lot of money in Journalism; you get a lot of satisfaction as well. In advertising you are selling a product, but in Journalism it’s not like that, if you’re an honest journalist there’s a lot of satisfaction. Entry level salaries in journalism are a bit higher like in the range of Rs.25,000 to Rs.30,000, then over the years you do earn higher. I read somewhere about an editor, who was counted as one of the richest men!
Q: In general how do you see journalism progressing?
A: In 7-10 years I see everything going online. The money going online. This generation isn’t into newspapers, so everything is moving online.
Q: Any feedback on your talk with the students?
A: They all listened to me! I spoke to them. It was fun, I liked it.
Q: In the final year of Bachelor of Mass Media, students choose to go with Advertising rather than Journalism, why do you think this happens?
A: It’s all because people think they won’t be able to earn money in Journalism. To be top at Journalism you need to be able to write, you should have a different frame of mind. You have to be investigative, you have to ask questions, you have to be cynical, and you have to write properly. It’s a different world. I would prefer it that way, that lesser people opt for journalism. People who are really into journalism they give themselves into it, they are in it for the long haul, they don’t have other options. In schools and colleges you’ll find only two to three students who want to do journalism wholeheartedly. The people who want monetary benefits shouldn’t do journalism and that is why there is this notion that journalists do not discuss their salaries and they generally lead a life with simple living and high thinking. You should only do journalism if you are really interested because if you’re not interested then at the end of the day I don’t want to hear ‘How many entries have been done’, we should be able to say ‘These many stories have been exposed’. If you want Money, you should surely go in for advertising because you can’t think how much you’ll earn if you write about a rape victim. That cannot be my mindset. So if you want a big salary then advertising is where you should be in. But if want to know what you’re going to write, how you’re going to write and what you’re going to do then journalism is the place.