Photo by G. Crescoli
Journalism is something you must love, or it just will not work out for you, believe me. Some journalists may work a typical 9-5 job but at 5 p.m. when they clock out, the job is never completely over. There is a fire at 2 a.m.? Time to cover it. Breaking news needs to be covered, but it is already 5 p.m. and your time to clock out? Time to stay after and cover it. Journalism is not only a career path but a lifestyle. If you are majoring in journalism, here are five things that are all too real in your life:
AP style is implanted in your brain
For those of you who are not journalism majors, AP style is referring to the bible of journalism – the Associated Press Stylebook. This book allows all journalists to write in the same format so the public can easily understand information being portrayed from one news outlet to the next. If you know AP style, you know it has most definitely, at some point, translated over into your other writing. Say a permanent goodbye to the oxford comma!
Professors and bosses encourage cell phone and laptop use
Check your social media. Stay up to date with the news, local and national, of course. Need to step out of the classroom because you have an important phone interview for an article, but it could only be scheduled during class time? It is encouraged. Journalism is sounding cool now, huh?
Criticism. From everyone.
One of the largest factors any journalist will deal with at every point in their career is criticism. Whether it is criticism of your news agency, your personal article or a co-worker’s article, it will happen. Criticism is inevitable, but as a journalism major you have learned to brush it off and move on. You are only doing your job – Reporting news to the people.
You are always ahead of your friends and family on the latest news
A friend or family member always sparks up a conversation about the latest, craziest news stories they heard or read about and end the sentence with, “Did you hear about that?” We live, breathe, eat and sleep journalism. Yes, I can guarantee we heard and can probably tell you more about the story because we have already read six articles on that topic and conducted our own research. A journalist’s job is never over!
Caffeine is your best friend
Sometimes, days will turn into nights and, again, it is inevitable. Journalism is a crazy path because you never know what will happen in the world of news. So we always know where the nearest Starbucks is to keep us fueled through the 10+ hour days we have.
At first, the craziness of journalism can be overwhelming but when you love what you do, it is actually reasonable. Journalism can be stressful, chaotic and intense, but I would not have it any other way.