Often referred to as the watchdogs of government, journalists exist to inform the public. They ask hard questions in order to share important truths to the public. College students studying to be journalists face an uphill climb to receive respect in an era that distrusts the field they hope to enter.
These 10 questions are what every journalism student, no matter how successful, are constantly asked.
You're not going to work for THAT organization, are you?Giphy
In most cases, if any news organization gives me a job, I'll take it. It's a competitive field, and jobs are scarce. Even very partisan channels and papers hire people of all opinions, if anything just to create controversy and conversation. News is supposed to be neutral, and a good journalist should be able to do unbiased work wherever they are.
So you want to do weather?Giphy
Actually, meteorologists are more likely science majors than journalism. Predicting the weather is a delicate art, and journalists are in a different field. While we work in the same space, we do very different kinds of work.
You realize newspapers are dead, right?Giphy
Yes, physical papers and magazines are going to way of the telegraph, but that doesn't mean people have stopped reading. Online papers and websites are becoming more popular than ever. Along with written pieces, journalism has become a multimedia field, using audio, videos, photography and other sources to tell a story.
So what do you think about (enter controversial journalist)?Giphy
Like any field, there are bad apples. You wouldn't ask a doctor to defend themselves if a physician across the country is accused of malpractice. Journalists have always had a bad reputation, but that doesn't mean all of us are immoral opportunists.
Or what about (enter extremely controversial political topic)?Giphy
We media professionals absorb the news all day, everyday. Chances are we know about the issue you're talking about, and have a personal opinion. That said, it's not a good habit for journalists to regularly share their own thoughts. To be taken as credible and unbiased, a reporter has to maintain a neutral stance to the best of their abilities. This is very hard, especially when you're well versed in a topic and feel strongly one way or another.
Anyone can be a journalist, why are you paying to go to college for it?Giphy
Yeah, anyone can run a twitter account or a blog, but true journalism is a different craft. That requires building credibility and respect, forming relationships and discovering contacts, and having the influence to get things done. A random person with a smartphone can't produce the quality of work expected out of professional journalists.
Do you know you won't make any money?Giphy
Like teachers, journalists aren't in their field because they want to get rich. Their dedication to truth, information, and transparency is what fuels individuals who work in media. That said, if one is good at their job, the money will come.
So you want to be on TV?Giphy
In today's world,nthere are so many different platforms for journalists to create their craft. Besides being broadcasters on TV, journalists can write, talk on radio, create podcasts, shoot photography, and even work for websites. Often, one journalist will do all of these in their career.
Are you fake news?Giphy
People on both sides of the spectrum think the other propagates fake news. A good journalist will be truthful, even If those around them don't like the truth. Instead of asking if someone is "fake news," ask instead what the journalist in front of you is doing to break that stereotype.
Are you sure you don't want to do something else?Giphy
Yep! Now I'm off to go inform the public on important public and social events instead.
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