Alumna of Apeejay School, Noida Parul Sabherwal shares highlights the new trends in journalism and impact of social media
By Arijit Roy: Parul Sabherwal works as the Senior Associate Producer at News18 Media Company. She is an alumna of Apeejay School, Noida, who bears an intense love for her alma mater.
After all, she spent fourteen years in the school, years that gave her many life lessons and helped her find herself to become who she is today.
In an exclusive interview, the batch of 2008 alumnus mentions how social media has changed the very course of journalism and lays bare truths that every journalism aspirant should know about the media industry. Edited excerpts:
Why did you choose mass media as your profession?
Parul Sabherwal: The motivation began at home. My mother was working with All India Radio at that time and she later retired from there.
So, at our home, we had that journalistic atmosphere, where we would all actively read the newspaper and discuss issues.
We had that knack for news, you may say. Also, back in the day, I had a lot of interest in sports, especially tennis and cricket. I wanted to get into sports journalism but things didn’t work out that way.
I would also like to mention that some of the motivation to join this field came from the school as well. We would get a reading hour daily at school.
The concept of newspapers at school was beginning during this time. The Times of India, Hindustan Times, all the big brands came up with their student editions of the newspapers.
We would read that and had to compulsorily explain the stories and articles from the newspaper in the class. That helped me come a long way.
What is the work profile of a senior associate producer in the media line?
Parul Sabherwal: I work at the input desk. We have bureaus all across India. We get stories from all across the nation. We have to judge which ones are the hot topics that can be featured on the channel.
Then, we plan and decide on the aspects that can be highlighted and then we assign them to the reporters accordingly.
We also make a week plan and organise a meeting with the team. Then we give the final work to the production team and they edit and polish the work which then goes on TV
Tell us about your best memories from Apeejay Noida days?
Parul Sabherwal: I spent 14 years there. So many beautiful memories, from the very beginning if I have to say, back in nursery we would do activities in the school garden, play in mud, then the annual days where a ball as I grew up.
The practices and rehearsals were amazing. I was into cultural activities. I also got a lot of opportunities from the inter-school competitions.
One life mantra for the current students?
Parul Sabherwal: The school motto: ‘Soaring high is my nature’ is so special. Even today, I say this motto with pride and I truly believe in it.
I have this belief in myself that I am born to soar high, that it is my very nature. When one thinks like this, then the person becomes unstoppable!
What’s the plan for the next 5 years?
Parul Sabherwal: I want to be in the media profession only as I am satisfied with my profile. I may switch workplaces, but I would love to be in this industry.
I love the work culture even if it is hectic. I love the thrill of the deadlines and the new challenges I face with every new day.
What are the new trends in journalism you have observed?
Parul Sabherwal: Social media! It is all about micro-blogging on Instagram or Twitter or Facebook. The short reel format is very popular these days.
It is a very good trend. Within 2 lines one expresses the argument in mind. People don’t have time these days.
Through this format, we don’t have to explain anything to people. Everything is micro now! It is self explanatory!
One thing all students should know before entering journalism?
Parul Sabherwal: Media is not about glamour. People think it is all about the camera, going in front of the teleprompter with your makeup on and then reading the lines and delivering promptly.
But it is not like that. We have to study a lot. We have to read a lot of books and newspapers daily. There is a lot of hard work that goes in.
There is a rigorous amount of hard work behind what we see on the screen. I have always been a desk person.
So, the general audience does not know the value of my contribution. But it takes a lot of effort to produce even a minute of a news bulletin.
So, I would say to all students that you should cultivate the habit of reading. If you can not read, you can not write. Period.
Also, you should know both English and Hindi. Have a firm grip on both the languages. That will help you as a journalist.
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