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Crafting Narratives: Public Policy Careers For Journalism Students In India – IMPRI Impact And Policy Research Institute

Crafting Narratives: Public Policy Careers for Journalism Students in India

Dr Arjun Kumar


As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the role of journalism extends beyond traditional news reporting. Journalists are now integral to shaping public discourse, and a career in public policy offers an avenue for those eager to influence societal change. In India, where the intersection of media and policy holds immense potential, journalism students can find fulfilling and impactful careers in public policy.

Understanding the Landscape:

India’s dynamic socio-political landscape provides a fertile ground for journalists interested in public policy. From economic reforms to social justice issues, the country faces multifaceted challenges that necessitate informed analysis and effective communication. A career in public policy allows journalists to delve deeper into these issues, contributing not only to public awareness but also influencing the policy-making process.

Public Policy and Journalism

Public policy is the framework through which societies address challenges and pursue development goals. Journalists in this field play a crucial role in bridging the gap between policymakers and the public. Through in-depth research and insightful reporting, they can bring attention to critical issues, spark public debates, and even influence policy decisions.

Educational Pathways:

For journalism students eyeing a career in public policy, acquiring relevant education is vital. Many universities in India offer postgraduate programs in public policy and administration. These programs equip students with the necessary skills in research, analysis, and communication, providing a solid foundation for a career at the intersection of journalism and policy.

Skill Set for Success:

  1. Research and Analysis: A strong analytical ability is essential for journalists in public policy. They must dissect complex issues, understand diverse perspectives, and present well-researched information to the public.
  2. Effective Communication: Clear and concise communication is a hallmark of successful journalism. Public policy journalists must convey intricate policy details in a way that resonates with the broader audience, making complex issues accessible to all.
  3. Interdisciplinary Understanding: Public policy often involves a mix of economics, sociology, law, and politics. Journalists must be adept at navigating these interdisciplinary realms to provide comprehensive coverage.
  4. Networking: Building connections with policymakers, experts, and stakeholders is crucial. Journalists should attend conferences, engage in discussions, and establish a network that enhances their understanding of policy issues.

Career Opportunities:

  1. Policy Reporting: Journalists can work for leading publications, covering policy developments at local, national, or international levels. This role involves researching policies, interviewing key stakeholders, and presenting information in a compelling and accessible manner.
  2. Think Tanks and Research Organizations: Many think tanks and research organizations focus on policy analysis. Journalists can contribute by conducting in-depth research, writing reports, and participating in discussions that shape policy recommendations.
  3. Government Communications: Public policy journalists can work within government departments, helping communicate policies to the public. This role involves creating press releases, organizing briefings, and ensuring transparent communication.
  4. Advocacy and NGOs: NGOs and advocacy groups often require journalists to communicate their objectives, raise awareness about specific issues, and influence policy changes. This role allows for direct involvement in driving social change.
  5. Academic Pursuits: With the right qualifications, journalists can venture into academia, becoming educators in the field of public policy. This path offers an opportunity to shape the next generation of policy communicators.

Challenges and Rewards:

Navigating the realm of public policy journalism comes with its challenges. Policies are often intricate, and the information landscape can be overwhelming. However, the rewards are substantial. Journalists in this field have the chance to contribute meaningfully to societal progress, witnessing the tangible impact of their work on policy outcomes.


For journalism students in India, a career in public policy is not just a path to expand one’s professional horizons but a chance to be actively involved in shaping the future of the nation. By combining the skills honed in journalism programs with a deep understanding of public policy, students can bridge the gap between governance and the public, fostering a more informed and engaged society. As India continues to evolve, the role of journalists in public policy will only become more critical, making this career path both relevant and rewarding.

Dr Arjun Kumar is the Director of the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi.

Disclaimer: All views expressed in the article belong solely to the author and not necessarily to the organisation.

This article was posted by Tanu Paliwal , a research intern at IMPRI.

Read more by the author: 

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  • IMPRI Desk
  • Arjun KumarArjun Kumar

    Arjun Kumar is the Director of the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi. He holds a PhD in Economics from the Centre for the Study of Regional Development, School of Social Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi. With training in development economics, he specialises in quantitative and qualitative research methods, econometrics and the use of statistical software to crunch big data. He has been a Visiting Faculty at the Institute for Human Development (IHD) amongst others and has been associated with several think tanks, research institutes, governments, civil society organisations, and private enterprises. He is President of a Jharkhand based NGO (registered in 2010), Manavdhara- a youth social organisation working for humanitarian causes in backward regions and for marginalised communities. He has also taught Economics at the University of Delhi. His research interests are in the economy, development studies, housing and basic amenities, urban and regional research, inclusive and sustainable development, data and evidence-based policy, and, research methods. He has several research publications to his credit and has experience of being involved in research projects of international and national repute. He is also a member and part of various government and non-government formed committees, groups, and advisory boards overseeing the deliberation as subject matter expert and for possessing strong research acumen. He is an avid writer and frequently writes on various dimensions of economic issues, policies, and their impact for several eminent media platforms.


    IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.

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IMPRI, a startup research think tank, is a platform for pro-active, independent, non-partisan and policy-based research. It contributes to debates and deliberations for action-based solutions to a host of strategic issues. IMPRI is committed to democracy, mobilization and community building.


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