One thing’s for sure, in order to be a journalism major, you have to have a passion for writing. Writing is a hard skill to master, but it is certainly worth it since employers are looking for those who know how to write well.
Using the AP Stylebook
This is the bible (not Bible) for those wanting to go into a journalism or a public relations field. It is an A to Z guide to capitalization, abbreviation, spelling, numerals and usage of words. Writing an article for one of your journalism classes? If you don't use this book while writing it, your grade won't be stellar. It does get annoying having to constantly flip through it, but in the end, it will save you.
A lead must sum up the story and explain the who, what, where, when, why and how in a single sentence. You can get away sometimes with a paragraph as a lead, but for the most part, readers want to know all of these facts in a sentence. Readers are busy, much like us journalists, so it is vital that you write a lead that keeps them interested enough to read your full article.
Having to take three semesters of a foreign language
Do I really need to explain myself here? If I wanted a minor in a language, then I would take all of these classes. It’s understandable to take a language if you want to be an international journalist, but for those of us who want to go into entertainment writing, (wink, wink) it seems pointless. I can tell you what I like to do on weekends in Spanish, but having a full conversation in a foreign language? Highly unlikely.
We are perfectionists. If a sentence doesn’t sound quite right, we will toss the paper into the nearest trashcan. Well, most of the time it’s pressing the backspace button countless times on a laptop. It is impossible to get a story written perfectly on the first try. Writing can always be improved. As said before, we are perfectionists, so sometimes it's hard for us to believe that.
Sometimes when you interview someone, it gets awkward. Asking questions to someone you hardly know is hard for a lot of people. Either you ask them hard-hitting questions and they give you a vague answer, or they give you way too much information.
We all have opinions; it sometimes is especially hard to keep opinions to ourselves and not in our writing. Journalism is all about being fair and objective. Obviously, in the present day, that doesn’t happen too often in the media. But if you really want to excel in this field, this is a skill you need to know how to do.
If you have taken Dr. Jesick’s basic skills class, you will probably agree that this is the biggest struggle. Is there supposed to be a comma there? Does the dateline need a state to be accompanied with it? Where is the essential clause? Is it St. or Street? I still get nightmares thinking about that final.