Amit Pathe is a journalist and currently working as a designer at Dainik Bhaskar Group. He has a working experience of around six years in the field. you can follow him of twitter at amitpathe

इस इंटरव्यू को हिंदी में पढने के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें

Introduce yourself to our readers, who are mostly young students across India? Please tell us about your family back ground.

I’m Amit Pathe. I come from a middle class family from Baitul, a tribal district of Madhya Pradesh. I am the youngest in my family, I have a sister and a brother. My father used to work in Coal India, he is now retired. He is son of a farmer and is illiterate. My mother is a housewife and she is able read and write. However, my father wanted us to study, he didn’t leave any stone unturned in providing us education. He himself cut out on unnecessary expenses and led a very simple life so as to save money for our education. As he could not get any formal education, he wanted us to excel in education.

Where did you go for your school education? What were your aspirations when you were in school?

I studied in a Hindi medium government school in Sarni. Till class 5 I was in Gayatri family school, where I studied even maths in Hindi numbers १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९. It was only after I left that school in class 6th that I got to learn numbers in English. There wasn’t much exposure in those schools, if you are not motivated enough to do something in your life then it was highly unlikely that you would succeed in your life after leaving that place. I passed 10th with first division marks and since I had gotten 87 marks out of 100 in math, my principal made me opt for math in class 11th. At that time your principal and your marks used to decide which subject you are going to choose in 11th, a student had no say in that. It so happened that the school fees were doubled that year, which made it difficult for my father to pay the fees. So, I wrote an article addressing the issue-how much fees did school charge earlier, how much increment was made? How did this hike in fees affect the poor students etc., enveloped it and sent it to the district office of Dainik Jagran. At that time articles were sent by bus. You could also use fax but it was expensive. If you write the name of the newspaper and press and give it to the bus driver, he would deliever it for free, this is how my news article reached the press office. One of my friend, who was 10 years older than me, got a call from the office and was told that a news related to school fees has come and he told them that one of his friends has written it and asked them to publish it with my name. Next day my by-line news article was published on the front page of Jagran. That was my first by-line. As a result I became famous as a reporter in my school. Some how I was able to complete my 12th.

What motivated you to pursue career in Mass Com? How you landed in Devi Ahilya Vishwavidyalaya?

After completing my school, career was a big issue for me; no one was there to guide me. I had to do everything on my own, one day I saw an admission notice add of DAVV in a newspaper and accordingly, downloaded the relevant form, filled it, attached the Demand Draft of requisite amount and sent it to DAVV Indore. I appeared for the exam and interview, luckily, I was selected. People were not aware of Mass Com. At that time, unless you tell them that this course is related to media, very few people understood what it was. Studying in the university gave me proper exposure and helped me develop my personality.

I was a very sincere student. I used to attend every lecture and complete every assignment with utmost honesty and dedication. Hence, completed my graduation with flying colors.

Experiences of your internships. Any remarkable experience that shaped your career? 

On the last day of my graduation, I started my internship at a Hindi Newspaper in Indore. I covered the annual function of my own college, for that newspaper. I also reported many news items which were against my own university. I was reporting during my final exams as well. Since, I used to attend the classes regularly, I didn’t have to cram or revise anything during exams; After the exams, I used to go for reporting and in the evening I used to submit my stories to the newspaper office.

Eventually you went to IIMC for post graduation diploma in Hindi Journalism? Would you describe its importance? How it helped you in your career?

While I was still interning, one of my friends suggested me to apply for IIMC. However, the cost of entrance form to IIMC was Rs. 1100, which was too expensive for me. One of my college professors, who was close to me, paid the entrance fees. I didn’t do anything special for the entrance test or interview, however due to the things that I had learnt during the internship I was able to secure a place in the Journalism course of IIMC. Interning under the local newspaper boosted my confidence, and taught me the basics of media.

You started your career form Rajasthan Patrika. Please describe to us your role and experiences there. How you managed to get placed there?

By the end of my IIMC course the world was reeling through the economic depression end of 2010 and beginning of 2011. Media was also affected by it and not only it was difficult to get a new job but even those who were working in that industry were also being laid off and their salaries were being reduced. We were all worried about our campus placement. At that time Rajasthan Patrika Group came to our college and recruited 9 members including me. I went to Jaipur for my first job on 14th May, 2011.During the initial years I worked on a salary of Rs. 6500. I did both, reporting and desk-job. Made 2-3 cartoons also, took bi-line photos and did a survey as well. I had to struggle a lot as the salary was merge- I could not afford a private transport so I either used a bus or walked long distances while reporting. Often I had to walk from my place of residence to my office which was 3 kms away. After some time, however, I got the Activa of the house owner on rent for reporting. Often I had to sleep empty stomach and without a fan. As it was pretty difficult to meet my basic need on such a small salary so after sometimes I got myself transferred to Indore and got back to the same office where I had interned initially. Now, the seniors under whom I had interned earlier used to send me their copies. However, I didn’t feel good there so I left my job and moved to Bhopal.

You joined Guru Jambeshwar University of Science & Technology to pursue masters? How important it is for a journalist to pursue higher studies? What motivated you to pursue Masters in Mass Communication? 

In 2012, I came to Bhopal. I started working at 10000 CTP in Dainik Bhaskar.During that time I did masters as a formality. There was nothing new in the course as I had studied the same thing in the past 4 years.I used to take some time off during my work to sit for semester exams and I was able to easily secure first division marks.Actually after completing a diploma course from IIMC you get a second year certificate of MMC in many universities including the university where I was currently studying. This process is called latern entry. I also gave 2nd year exam, directly.

You joined DB Group afterward. Tell us about your role and experiences there? 

Right now Iam working for DB Post, an English version of Dainik Bhaskar. I have been working here as a designer for the last 1 and a half years. Before this, in 2012, I worked as a reporter in Dainik Bhaskar for less than 2 years. After that, due to prospects of better salary, I joined Nayi Dunia (Jagran group). After two months, I joined Nav Bharat Times of Times Group in Lucknow.

You worked with times group for more than two years. Your role and experiences there?

I did satisfactory work for one and a half years in Nav Bharat Times after which I joined Delhi Times of Times of India Group. I was given an option to work as a reporter and designer as well. I didn’t miss the opportunity of switching to English journalism. I was attached to Hindi language. However, I was aware of the little salary and slow growth in Hindi media. Switching to English journalism gave me a lot of exposure so I decided to move to Delhi, there I started as a designer from the beginning. I worked very hard and learnt realy fast. I got the opportunity to understand the work culture of English Journalism. Once, I was given an opportunity to cover a story, I was told by my boss that I would have to leave tomorrow morning for reporting, take pictures as well and sumbit by afternoon.

One day I had to go somewhere for reporting, Boss called me and said that you have to go to report tomorrow morning, if you can click the photos yourself with your camera.. and please submit it till noon. A ma’am sitting nearby the boss said that you can give the report to me in Hindi and I will do the translation. Boss said, no, he will write in English only. Ma’am said you got the opportunity. My Byline Photo with my byline coverage was published in Half Page. After that I also got 5-6 reporting assignments.

Amit Pathe with Alia Bhatt

How much grades matter in securing a job in mainstream media?  Tell us about other activities which play a major role in securing a job.

What saves your job is the fact that how high up did you go from your job profileand how much quality work and smart work you have you done. Your hard work always yields fruits, it may take some time, but it never goes in vain. I was good at multi-tasking and it always helped me. Apart from that your connections also help in getting you a job.

Did you find that the colleges/institutions had prepared you sufficiently for the many tasks you were required to execute during your internships and later at your Job?

When I went for the job I realized that whatever I had to do there had nothing to do with what I had learnt during my media course. There was very less usage of media and behavioral studies as well. Level of study up to the graduation was only bookish. During my studies I came across several professors who did not have any experience of media and have not even written a journalism article. In the digital world, the professors used to teach us compositor from an old book. In IIMC, there were a lot of experienced professors, some industrial experts also used to teach us. Thus, only bookish knowledge will not make you media- ready. It is no doubt that internship provides a valuable experience but we get to know all the technicalities only after working for 3-4 years.

You again joined DB Group in Nov. 2015. How would you describe your present job there? Role, experience and working environment? How you became a designer?

I had become a designer in Times of India only, however, my post was that of a correspondent. I joined as a designer in the DB Group. After Times, I got a few opportunities in Hindi newspaper, but the salary was not satisfactory. So in November, 2015 I joined the then newly launched English version of DAINIK BHASKAR, DB Post.

Would you like to compare work environment at the two big media houses which you worked for?

I have spent most of the time in Times and Bhaskar group. The work environment of Hindi and English media is very different. Working environment in an English group is pretty relaxed, pressure is much lesser than that in Hindi media. People care more about work and less about you. You get leaves pretty easily. You have to work 8hrs at max. You are not extracted to your limits. Better facilities are available. Different types of allowances are also given. Salary increment is also good. No body cares about your personal life. However, in Hindi media it’s just the reverse. That’s why I switched from Hindi to English journalism.

What are the pros and cons of making career in print journalism in today’s digital world?

Now, I don’t suggest anyone to go for print journalism. The revolution that followed Reliance Jio has drastically changed the scenario. The reach of digital media has increased drastically. New-generation of people are not even looking at the newspaper anymore. In 5 to 7 years the digital media would have, by far, gone ahead of print media. The cost of printing and peddling the newspaper would consume this industry. However, e-paper edition would still be in work.

How difficult it is to shift from Hindi Journalism to English; especially when one has gone to Hindi medium school; hails form a village and not excellent with English?

The opportunity of switching from Hindi Journalism to English Journalism are very less and if like me you too have studied in a Hindi medium school, then it is even lesser. But if you get an opportunity, then atleast you can slowly try to switch over. All you need is good thought process, you will be able to learn the language eventually, as the language used in the newspaper is not very poetic. However, if you are working there then you must remember that you have to learn a lot in English as the people working there are experts and you are just a novice.

What is your view on media becoming irresponsible and showing fact less episodes?

Media is not a holy cow from which you always expect to be idealistic. Media is purely a business, we have to accept this fact. However, it is a business full of responsibility. Every pillar of democracy has both positive and negative aspects.

What would be your parting message to students and young journalists?

As print media is becomming restricted, digital media has flooded the news market and it is still expanding, this would further increase job opportunity in that field. Small media houses would pop-up. Some of them would be run by their homes only, digital media would fulfil its needs by giving part time jobs. A time would come when you would not meet your team worker face to face, you would be working from your home only. Work-culture would change. Small and specific media model would work.

In the upcoming 10-15 years, there would be a lot of upheaval in the media. If we take this in to account, this work is nothing like a government job which provides job security. New media professionals must become flexible. Now a days if some one asks me if they should pursue media course, I tell them not to because there is nothing interesting in the course, also it doesn’t provide job security and work culture. Hwever, the job in itself is very interesting, every day you get to do something new. Creative, hard-working, and skilled people will always find job and money in this field.

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