Written By: Sarah Eskildson , APSU Journalism student
The path of an aspiring journalist is not an easy one to take in today’s society. Constantly, I am told that journalism is dying. I am not going to make any money in my field — and journalists are up to no good.
Sometimes I wonder what times were like when a whole community stood in support of the local newspaper. I dream of the moments in the past where journalism was the “it” factor in American culture.
Unfortunately, however, a few people in our society are against the world of reporting and want nothing to do with the freedom of the press.
I once walked in to a history professor’s office for an interview for my latest news article. The article was about President Obama’s trip to Cuba. Although I was rather new to the whole journalism thing, I knew I needed to gather sources and built up enough courage to seek out the perspective of a person who studies history.
Immediately after asking my first question, he laughed and told me that I was in the wrong major because newspapers are fading. He rambled on a bit more about how journalism is of little value, and then proceeded to tell me why I should consider majoring in history.
Flustered, irritated, and offended, I left determined and devoted to following the journalism path because journalism is not dying, but thriving in more ways than ever before.
I believe, as a student journalist, I receive hostile comments about career focus because some people are not accepting toward the change to digital media, and honestly, people fear the work of journalists because, when done correctly, we are the voice to the voiceless.
We tell the public what they should know, even when others want the topics kept in silence.
Whether people can admit it or not, we live in an age of digital media. Therefore, newspapers are not dying but growing because of social media, mobile applications, and the ability to write more articles for the public to read.
The key to journalism in the 21st century is not having the most intriguing front page or creative headline, but focusing the attention on interactive articles with graphics, videos, and opinion polls. What is best about digital media is the ability for the readers to discuss what they feel about the topic written.
Two aspects that are needed for the continuation of news readership include focusing on the newspaper’s online presence and the foundation of trust — which is key to the future of journalism
As I continue learning more about what all journalism entails, I see first hand the power of digital media. Journalism is the premise of democracy and freedom of speech. Thus, people will never stop engaging in news, but they will change the way they receive news. It is then the journalist’s job to follow the seasons of change and meet the readers where they are most comfortable.
Although certain people place a stigma on journalism, reporters and the community need a bond of trust. News is not reporting what a single person thinks is important, but what reflects the community.
Once an individual breaks the fear of journalism and embraces the changes in news readership, he will witness the sovereignty journalism brings to all.