When you picture a journalist, you are probably imagining the quintessential reporter of the early 20th century. But long gone are the days of press passes stuck into fedoras, notepads and pens, replaced instead by passes clipped to your t-shirt and iPhones.
Journalism is changing and people are afraid to go into it now because of the lack ofto job security, the weird hours and the uncertainty of its future.
If you’ve ever thought about going into the field of journalism, or are just on the fence about whether or not to get involved in your college newspaper, this article is for you.
If you are quick on your feet, possess a ready mind, and are not afraid of adventure, journalism is something you should absolutely invest your time and heart in. Here are 6 things you should expect to return with after your investment.
1. Journalism will teach you how to master your writing.
One of the most important things employers are looking for in an employee is writing ability, and for good reason. Clear writing is indicitive of clear thinking, and evidences that an employee is capable of thinking ideas through and communicating those ideas in an effective manner.
2. Learning how to gather news stories will make you more resourceful.
After two years on staff at The Rocket, in addition to taking journalism classes, I learned not only how to find what is newsworthy.
Resourcefulness is an asset in any position, as you will learn where to find information.
3. You will learn more about your community.
I was on first name basis with leaders of groups, actors in plays and was friendly with a lot of professors. Being a journalist is interesting because on your first meeting with a person, you can get an understanding of who they really are. By interviewing people, I got a lot more contacts than I would’ve otherwise and have gotten involved with some great people and organizations.
4. You will learn more than you ever wanted to about the world around you.
I have covered the development of safety labs, learned how ancient beer was brewed, seen countless plays I wouldn’t have seen otherwise and what goes into them. Journalism had made me more aware of the world around me, and how things that happen affect people. You will never get the same experience reading about something like you will talking to someone who experiences it every day.
5. Journalism is the vehicle through which reporting and information become adventure.
When I originally declared my journalism major, I thought that it would be boring and clinical, and that I wouldn’t really fit into the newswriting scene.
I was never more wrong about anything in my life.
Journalists are dynamic people who go above and beyond to get all the information that they can about the world around them. Journalists are brave and tenacious, and will probably rank among your best friends if you let them.
6. Your journalist friends know the word on the street, and can give you interesting details.
Being friends with other journalists gives you a go-to source for every rumor you hear around town. Chances are if you’re just catching wind of something, your journalist friend already knows about it, and has been researching it for weeks. Journalists are easily the most informed of their community.