When I tell people that I am a journalism major, I usually get different reactions, and most of them are not positive.
I get the question of "What are you going to do with that?" or "Isn't the newspaper business dying?" Both of these questions imply that I am not going to find a job after college; however, I don't think that's true. Even though the newspaper business may be declining, that's only because people are know moving from getting their news through print outlets to getting their news through digital outlets. Almost every major news business now has an online publication because they realized that people are getting their news this way instead. My current internship has an online publication and all of the articles I have written have ended up online primarily. Everyone is constantly on their phones, so they (especially people from my generation) are more likely to read news on their phones than a newspaper.
As a journalism major, there are a lot of different roads I could go down. Some of my friends who are journalism majors are going to law school. But other journalism majors go into print writing, broadcast journalism, social media marketing, public relations, and so much more. It's small-minded to think that just because one outlet of news is declining, that I may not get a job after I graduate. There are plenty of career roads I could go down after I graduate, even if it's not exactly writing for a newspaper.
Besides, employers always need people who are able to write, and society is always going to want to know what's going on in the news. We are curious, and we like to know what is happening around in the world, so news curators will always be needed.
I have also gotten the response of "oh, you're not going to make a lot of money." Yeah, maybe I won't. But again maybe I will. Either way, you don't know what kind of job I'm going to get or who I'm going to end up working for, so stop making assumptions about my future. Besides, if I don't start off making a lot of money, at least, I will enjoy what I am doing, instead of dreading to go to work everyday. According to an article by Reference.com, we spend about 30% of our lives working. That's a lot of my life that I don't want to waste away by hating what I do for a living.
I have also had people discount my major because they believe I took the "easy route" for choosing a liberal arts major. I may not be Pre-Med or taking a ton on hard math classes, but a.) the world needs more than just doctors. We need other professions out there to ensure that our democracy works smoothly and b.) Journalism is not always easy. In fact, at the University of Georgia, the Grady College School of Journalism is one of the top journalism schools in the country, meaning that it is pushing me to be my best and not letting me slide by being lazy. Journalism majors cannot be lazy. Outside of classwork, we often have numerous projects and tests in all our classes every week. These projects take time to put together, and we have to know how to use a wide range of programs. For example, in my Multiplatform Journalism class this semester, I have had to create a data visual, a photo essay, and an audio recording, and with each of these projects, I had to use different digital programs. Last semester, I took Graphics Design and Photojournalism, and I had to learn how to use Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, and much more. These programs aren't super easy to learn from, and they all take time to use. On top of these time-consuming projects, many journalism majors at UGA take time to write for a publication like the Red & Black or the Odyssey Online in order to enrich their writing experience. So yeah, it's a lot, and it's not taking the easy way out.
"Don't write fake news" is another response I get that annoys the heck out of me. I can't help but roll my eyes at this one. At the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, my professors harp the idea of double, triple, quadruple checking your sources. I know that some news out there may not be true, and fake news is spread a lot. But come on people, I am learning in my classes to make sure that what I write is true. Please stop assuming that all journalists lie because we don't.
Anyways, I'm proud to be a journalism major, and I am excited to go into the field of news and media.