Journalist’s benefits are appealing

By Azure Wickert

After entertaining many opportunities, I have exhausted what I have determined to be the most acceptable amount of student debt and have found myself without a degree. My solution was Brookhaven College because the school is affordable, the professors are skilled and highly creditable, and the commute is short for me.

The next hurdle to overcome was to figure out what I wanted to do for a career. I decided to look at what I love and all signs pointed to journalism. I love excitement and being informed, learning about arts and people and other cultures. Further research led me to an article disagreeing with a recent CareerCast survey, which labeled journalism as one of the Top 10 worst careers to go into. The article by Forbes writer Jeff Bercovici turned out to be an excellent resource as I entertained a drastic change of direction.

While the CareerCast survey didn’t maliciously or falsely attack journalism, it only focused on why the career is not for everyone. The Forbes article illustrated how the survey highlighted some of the main attractions to the career field, and the author’s list had me hollering “Right on!” and “That’s me,” as I read.

Bercovici writes, “You’re always learning.” I agree, because journalism gives you the chance to expose yourself to things you may not experience otherwise, whether it is something or someone on an assignment, what happens creatively in the drafting process, in editing or going to print. He also said, “You get paid to read a ton.” This is appealing to me because I can choose what I want to read. It might be the New York Times, maybe Rolling Stone magazine, or even following a Twitter feed or Facebook posts. All are fair game and all depend on what you choose to write about or explore.

Another positive benefit is journalists meet interesting people. They can ask them the interesting questions that others have not.

The author also highlights that “You get to meet celebrities.” This is a separate point from meeting interesting people because, as Bercovici points out, sometimes celebrities are not interesting people.

Most importantly to me is when he states, “Journalists get around.” As I flip through the Travel Channel or view travel magazines, I wonder how journalists landed the great jobs. It is because they are skilled journalists. In my opinion, CareerCast may have looked at the popularity of social media, blogs and the digitalization of many news sources as a risk or threat to the industry. This may have caused the survey to label the job as a Top 10 worst field to follow, but those very outlets have helped the field tremendously.

The need to put years in before daring to express oneself has become less important in a time when anyone with a smartphone can share their opinions. A well-educated journalist paired with a passion can have so many chances to find a place for themself in this field.