The Degree In A “Dying Art”

The Degree In A “Dying Art”

“What’s your major?” “Journalism!” “Oh…”

That small and awkward exchange has defined the last three years of my life. When I was a senior in high school, it was with fellow classmates who deemed my major as inadequate in comparison to their own.  Now, a junior in college, it’s with family members and even professors.

“Journalism’s a dying field, you know.”

At this point I’ve heard the phrase more often than not. Suddenly, everyone is a career expert. Suddenly, everyone is some elitist. Last time I checked, no career path guarantees a job after graduation–so please stop and think before you start talking to me about my career choice.

“Why are you studying journalism when people blog for free?”

The biggest misconception about internet journalism is the sad reality that most people believe anything they read. As a blogger, no one is there to fact check every sentence you write, it’s all up to you. I have a blog that I use for recreational writing. I don’t fact check nearly as much as I should. I can’t speak for fellow bloggers, but I assume most don’t spend as much time as they should. It’s not our jobs. News sources have interns and other people dedicated to fact checking. Blogging is different than what I’m going to school for; I wish people would understand.

“Good luck paying those student loans on a reporter’s salary.”

Yes, I’m aware that my salary will not be comparable with a doctor. No, I don’t think you need to remind me of that every time my major comes into play. I wish I could say that my classmates are the only ones to say that, but some of my professors have made “jokes” about how little money I’ll make. I could be the next Brian Williams! (I’m not). But seriously, you don’t know what my salary will be. Worry about your own.

“Newspapers are shutting down. It’s stupid to pursue print journalism.”

This phrase may be my least favorite–and as you can see I’ve heard plenty. There are so many things wrong with this one. The first–I truly have no real intention to ever work for a newspaper. I want to work for a magazine–don’t even try to tell me it’s worse than a newspaper. I know you all still freak out over your favorite issue of Vogue or Rolling Stone. Second, newspapers have websites, which have writers, which means I still have a job. *Eye roll*

The moral of the story is pretty simple. You think journalism is stupid. You think all my internship experience won’t matter. You are certain, “I’m not going to find a job.” I know what I want, and I’m going to make it happen. So really, I don’t care what you think.

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2 thoughts on “The Degree In A “Dying Art”

  1. I really love this piece, I have two degrees: one in marketing and one in graphic design. I STILL don’t have a job and everyone says that with a business degree you can “easily” find work. (HAH!) I think it’s important to do what you want to do and ignore people trying to put you down! They probably pursued a career they will hate because they didn’t want to try too hard finding a job in a field they would actually enjoy, they didn’t want the risk.

  2. I’m a journalism major too and I hear these things all the time. I love what you said about the salary and how people should worry about their own. Seriously! I want to tell these people “You have no idea what my life will turn out like. Stop trying to put me down and worry about your own life.” Also, ummm newspapers and websites exist because people are writing the words you read. Hellooo? An Internet full of pictures wouldn’t be as effective.
    SO many great points. Agh. So frustrating to talk to people who say these things.

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