Two years ago, I did a job shadow with my cousin, then an editor at the Minneapolis Star Tribune. I peered over the desks heaped with papers and notes and old food containers. I strained to hear the hushed but intense discussions between writers and editors taking place in the corners. I was nearly run over as the crime reporter and accompanying photographer flew by to cover a breaking news story.
That day was when I looked around and went, “Yeah, this is DEFINITELY what I want to do.”
Of course, even just two years later things are already different. I had never heard of Twitter as of my senior year of high school, and Facebook was just somewhere to post photos and “poke” the cute guy in your homeroom class. No one I knew had a touch screen cell phone and get this- you couldn’t even use your iPod to take video!
We’ve heard a lot of lamenting lately about the “dying newspaper industry,” but others have also commented about the great opportunities being presented in journalism. G.W. Miller, a journalism professor at Temple University in Philadelphia, says that even through the layoffs and instability of the journalistic job market, this career path is still a great one to be on. He writes that, “It’s a new media world and, I would argue, the most inspiring time in history to be an aspiring journalist.”
Scott Elliot, an award-winning blogger of the Dayton Daily News, writes that “Today, I just can’t imagine working without a blog. I write nearly everything online first and then figure out what makes sense for the print newspaper.”
Many of the things I’m learning in my J-School classes are very different than what I figured on when I first applied. But to me, that’s not a bad thing. I tend to agree with Miller and am excited to see what role I end up playing in the ever-evolving world of journalism.
What inspired you to first look to journalism as a career? And as the industry has changed, what has kept you around? Is what you want to do now with your degree the same as it was when you started college?