Things That Surprised Me About Journalism

 

When I was younger and just starting to ponder where my future was headed, the only thing that wasn't a big fat question mark was my college major. I have been confident in journalism as my choice of career since I was fifteen, but I am still finding new things about it every day. The following are just a few pieces of journalism that I am still trying to grow accustomed to (and you might be too, if you're a fellow journalism major).

 

  • The "journalism field" has so many meanings.

As a kid, I associated journalism with writing. All I want to do with the rest of my life is write. It took me a while to grasp that journalism is so much more than that. There are journalists who review new music, who recount events, who COMFORTABLY spend time in front of cameras (a concept that is still fairly foreign to me). Not all of journalism is writing, and not all of it is news. The journalism field is versatile and it is changing every day.

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  • Not all journalists are objective- even if they should be.

It's a pretty well-known standard that journalists are supposed to seek the truth and report it, but that they're supposed to do it OBJECTIVELY and without bias. Unfortunately, this is super hard to do, especially today. Talking about what's going on around us with indifference is getting more difficult, and yeah, sometimes it shows.

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  • Sometimes, people view "truth" subjectively.

We live in a world where plenty of people pick and choose their truth. Ask anyone- almost anyone will tell you that they have media outlets they absolutely DO and DON'T trust or listen to, for various reasons. The only hope is that eventually, we as the general public can agree that none of us want to be lied to.

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  • Not everyone supports it and not everyone is open to it.

It took me a while to wrap my head around the fact that the job a journalist has to deliver the truth is not always appreciated or even respected. There are people out there who truly hate journalists. They see them as vultures, and it's especially easy to fall into this mentality with the attitude our current president has about the media. You know this, I know this, but I'll say it anyway- this is extremely dangerous.

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  • Journalists don't always love their jobs. 

I used to think of a news break as an exciting, exhilarating event for journalists. I assumed that the urgency was a reminder to them of why they were in journalism in the first place and that it was something they looked forward to. Surprisingly enough, some journalists DON'T always welcome the chaos of a breaking story. Underneath the job, they're people too. They get stressed and overwhelmed the same way anybody else would.

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  • It is completely fascinating.

As a journalism major, I knew this already. I've always been fascinated with it. It's just something that I'm reminded of every day, and it's how I know that despite the challenges, I am not going to change my mind about what I want to do for the rest of my life. Journalism is a messy, chaotic field and I can't wait to be a part of it.