A journalist has to have a flair for writing, ability to express ideas lucidly and concisely; open mindedness; unbiased approach; curiosity wide ranging interests; sensibility to atmosphere; an instinct for a story's newsworthiness; ability to sum up people; resourcefulness; resilience; ability to sift relevant facts from irrelevant information; stamina; courage; willingness to work hard at irregular hours and on holidays.
As for educational qualifications, it varies with the institutions. Generally, a degree in any discipline is the minimum qualification for entry. Getting into leading newspapers in India will be easier if you have obtained a first class in graduation. You can also have a Bachelor degree in Journalism.
Alternatively, you can have a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism after your graduation in any discipline.
Other degree/diploma, which may also lead to you a job:
The scope of journalism is wide and is increasing with greater diversification of the media. The information explosion has brought home the urgency of being able to express more diverse and complex ideas, news and viewpoints more quickly and concisely than ever before. New publications appear on the stands each year. Vernacular papers are currently in circulation and the number is growing, creating a larger demand for writers with an ability to grasp situations and translate them into words in the shortest possible time.
Due to the boom in the dot com companies, there is an increasing demand for editors and freelancers. Almost all major newspapers and news agencies in India have a presence on the Internet, making it one of the easiest ways to get to know about the happenings in India. Hence having knowledge of computer graphics and Internet related topics would be an added advantage.
Channels like CNN, Discovery, NDTV, and newspapers like The Times of India, The Economic Times are great organizations that any journalist would like to work in. If you idolize Karan Thapar, Barkha Dutt, Pronnoy Roy or others like them and you feel the desire to communicate what you believe is important to others, this probably is the best career option for you.