By MELANIE MARTINEZ
Every holiday party or family get-together, it’s always the same thing. My relatives and their friends ask about boys and school. While my love life has fluctuated more than Oprah’s waistline (no offense, O) my college career has always been steady and focused. When asked about my major, I proudly reply, “Journalism,” which is always met with faces twisted in horror and concern.
“But honey, journalism is a dying career! Everybody knows that.”
Cue my usual exasperated sigh and excuse to beeline towards the snack table. I can feel their worried glances on my back. Poor thing. She needs to study a real major.
I know my Com School peers have experienced similar fright-filled responses. But do not fret my fellow journalism majors, as I’m sure you know, there is no need to switch over to something “more reliable” like engineering or accounting … we all suck at math anyways.
It is true that the journalism industry is currently going through major changes, but that doesn’t mean that it’s dying out and that reporters are going extinct.
On the contrary, BLS data shows that the number of help-wanted ads for “news analysts, reporters, and correspondents” has increased by 15 percent compared to last year. More people are telling BLS that they have careers as news analysts, reporters and correspondents compared to a year ago.
The Digital Age isn’t taking away journalism jobs, instead it’s simply modifying the description. These help-wanted ads now use words such as “digital,” “Internet” and “mobile.”
And what’s wrong with that? This isn’t the first time journalism and media have withstood major change due to technology. From the emergence of the radio in the twenties to the television takeover in the fifties, journalists have adapted when it comes to times of major change through medium.
As history shows, when technology advances and culture changes, journalists develop new skills to keep up. Journalism hasn’t died out and won’t die out because of this willingness to understand, adapt and learn.
The common idea that “everyone’s a journalist,” due to the prevalence of blogging online, is an inaccurate notion. The news and media industry needs educated journalists capable of interpreting the news and delivering it in the unique way only trained writers and broadcasters can. That’s not to say that raw talent is non-existent, but not everyone has the needed skill set acquired through education.
I believe that journalism will continue to strive in this Internet-centered period due to the fact that young journalists are capable and equipped to handle the shift. They lack the dated habits of their older counterparts and join the industry with a strong grasp of today’s environment.
Instead of collapsing careers, journalism’s changing ways are creating more jobs and opportunities, available to the people who are skilled and opened to them.
So maybe our world is studded with tablets and phones and our eyes are more constantly met with screens than with paper. We will always need people to report and interpret life’s happenings, no matter the outlet. From town crier to Tweet and everything in between, journalism has evolved along with the world and will continue to do so in the ever-changing future.