Journalism

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Before there were newspapers, news was taken by horse from town to town; neighbors and friends had to rely on each other for information. Now journalism is one of the fastest most competitively growing job markets and with college students clamoring for internships at vogue and rolling stone it’s difficult to get your foot in the door. Being a reporter isn’t a nine to five job with a normal salary and a weekly pay check its being stressed over deadlines and spending hours on the phone checking sources. Critics have said that journalists simply exploit human emotions, writers without ideas for books. They are wrong for journalism spreads news to the people. The media is one of the most important fundamentals of our society and journalists fuel the flame for good news.



I was first attracted to journalism because I didn’t want to be stuck in a nine to five job. Emily Rubens a correspondent for the BBC described her job as “busy” and “hectic” often due to the “stress of deadlines and a broken coffee machine” (Rubens). I first started working for my high school newspaper, it was such a large school that I got lost in the mess of other freshman contributing writers and most of my work was edited or never published at all. When I switched schools however I soon found a small team of other aspiring journalists and together we would sit in a crammed room with donuts for hours reaming out our school news. Thin computer sheets filled with news of soccer games and teacher pregnancies, bad weather and a bike accident. I was soon editor of the newspaper, a small staff of freshman writers where now mine to edit and decide if there work was good for publishing. In the summer before my senior year I traveled to London to study print journalism with other students. This experience changed my life because it solidified by choice to become a journalist.



Once I knew that I wanted to become a journalist it was difficult to know where to start. Many question if journalism is a profession at all, its not like construction work in which houses are the product. A newspaper is a written page about what has happened nothing more. The average reading level of an accredited newspaper is for high school freshman (FOJ). With writing at that level it is the simplicity that is a skill not the writing itself.

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College is still important but recently it has been largely discussed if it is better to major in journalism or in a field on interest. “Newspapers will be happy to see that you have a major in something specific, not that you can write.” (Rubens) Only 39% of journalists have majored in communications and 20% of journalists have no major at all . It still is important to take journalism and English classes, companies eager to hire the more rounded student.



(CNM) Salary can depend on if you’re a contributing writer or a staff writer. “Some get paid by the word; some get paid by the piece. Depending how good you are depends on how much money you get for your words or work.” (Rubens). Other recent reports have averaged a journalist’s salary to around 30,000 a year (FOJ).



There are three different methods to journalism, print, photo and broadcast. Print journalism is newspapers and magazines. Daily tasks for this job would be writing articles, talking on the phone, checking sources (confirming the validity of your facts) and making deadlines. Photo journalists take the pictures for the newspapers and spend more of there time out in the field taking pictures. Broadcast journalism is perhaps the most glamorous of them all. Made famous by Katie Couric, hundreds of female college students follow her as an example of the stars of broadcast journalism. Broadcast journalism is simply what its name means, it’s the news broadcasted over the television of radio, using the spoken word instead of the written. Daily tasks for this job vary because there are so many different aspects to news media. You have producers who produce the show and writers. You have the broadcasters themselves that read the news and the camera men to film them. The daily tasks of any journalist are never the same because the news is always changing.



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