Why I’m Proud to Be a Female Journalist Today

I left high school with a love of English literature and no idea what I wanted to do for a living. I just knew that reading and writing were fun. That’s how I ended up as a journalism major at Boston University. There was no crazy, passionate story about the moment I knew I wanted to be a journalist. It just happened and then I fell in love with the profession. 

Fast forward to now: my second year of college. I’ve taken an introduction to communications writing class and one journalism class. The intro class was okay; I didn’t hate it but I didn’t love it, and this led me to wonder if I was on the right path. 

Taking my first journalism class this semester has been incredible. I finally had that moment I’ve been waiting for where I’m in a state of, “Holy shit, I love the career I’m pursuing and it feels so incredible.”

I get to experience and practice what I plan to do with my life—all the time. Coming into college, journalism majors and many COM majors aren’t taken seriously. People assume that just because I’m a journalism major, I have no homework and nothing is ever difficult. I would have to prove my self-worth to other people and prove my strong work ethic.

Well, let me tell you, being a journalism major isn’t easy. Being at BU isn't easy. Journalism requires a lot of outside research, talking to people you don’t know and getting them to open up to you—someone they’ve never met—all for the sake of a story. A story is not just a story. It is the truth, accuracy, and relevance.

The press has been a circus lately due to everything going on in our country, from politics, sexual assault allegations, and the concept of “fake news.” In all of this, I find that people’s appreciation and respect for what I am pursuing in school has skyrocketed. People are proud to see my work as an honest writer for a living, and I’m glad that people finally understand this. 

It's upsetting to me that hardships like these are what cause others to finally understand the importance and difficulties that come with being a journalist. But this time for journalism is beautiful and revolutionary.

This past week, I woke up to breaking news regarding Matt Lauer’s firing from NBC. I instantly tuned in to the Today Show to watch Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb break the news. 

Here is the transcription from the New York Times:

“Guthrie: As I’m sure you can imagine, we are devastated and we are still processing all of this, and I will tell you right now, we do not know more than what I just shared with you.

But we will be covering this story as reporters, as journalists. I’m sure we will be learning more details in the hours and days to come, and we promise we will share that with you.

And Hoda, I mean, you know, for the moment, all we can say is that we are heartbroken. I am heartbroken for Matt. He is my dear, dear friend and my partner and he is beloved by many, many people here.

And I’m heartbroken for the brave colleague who came forward to tell her story and any other women who have their own stories to tell.

And we are grappling with a dilemma that so many people have faced these past few weeks: How do you reconcile your love for someone with the revelation that they have behaved badly? And I don’t know the answer to that.

But I do know that this reckoning that so many organizations have been going through is important, it’s long overdue, and it must result in workplaces where all women — all people — feel safe and respected.

As painful as it is, this moment in our culture and this change, it had to happen.

KOTB: Yeah, it did. This is a very tough morning for both of us.

I have known Matt for 15 years, and I have loved him as a friend and as a colleague.

And again, just like you were saying, Savannah, it’s hard to reconcile what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day.

We were both woken up with the news, kind of predawn, and we are trying to process it and make sense of it and it will take some time for that.

GUTHRIE: Yeah. We’re processing it with all of you at home. And we promise to be transparent and be straightforward and continue this important conversation.

KOTB: Absolutely.”

This moment with two strong female journalists breaking this news and supporting each other while talking about the importance of honest journalism truly resonated with me. I felt a sense of pride for these women and for myself in working to report truthful content, no matter the interpersonal connection. This quote should be heard by any journalist or anyone who wishes to work in communications industry—and if you haven’t watched the clip, be sure to do that as well.

All photos are from ABC News.

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