Journalism: Not as Dead as I Thought

I never thought a writing conference would make me feel as hopeful about my major as this one did.

Journalism is a dying field.

I’d hear this no matter where I went: articles online listing the least profitable careers and how long it’ll take me to pay off my student loans, friends telling me I should major in something that wouldn’t be gone in the next two years and even relatives at the dinner table who’d like another engineer in the family.

I guess it’s a testament to my stubbornness that I went on to be a broadcast journalism major. That and math just isn’t my forte.

So it was refreshing, to say the least, when speaker Dean Baquet said the opposite of everyone I’d ever read and listened to: journalism isn’t dying. In fact, it’s never been more alive.

“I am envious of your age and the opportunities you have,” Baquet said. With the information age upon us, journalists these days have more tools at their disposal than ever before. Journalism is “in need of transformation,” according to Baquet, and that is happening right now with the addition of videos, sound files and even interactive graphs in stories.

The world today is allowing journalists to be more creative and fostering that growth. Baquet said journalism students have the “opportunity to do things differently and excitingly,” and I whole-heartedly agree with him.

If I think a six second Vine video will add another layer to my story, I can do that. If I think a photo collage will help my readers understand what I’m trying to say better, I can do that. If I think a link to a baby animals slideshow will put the people reading this in a better mood, hey, I can do that too.

Journalism has to constantly adapt to keep up with their audience, and it’s only a matter of making sure one doesn’t fall off the train than whether the profession is dying or not.

Listening to Baquet speak put more faith in my major, to put it bluntly. People will always want to absorb news, I just have to learn to be more creative about it.

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3 thoughts on “Journalism: Not as Dead as I Thought

  1. Hi Caitlin,

    The first sentence of your post is so spot on. It is something that I hear from everyone when I tell them my major too and it’s something that you get really tired of hearing over and over again. I think it’s awesome that Baquet really gave assurance to journalism majors like us that journalism is thriving better than ever and that there are opportunities out there. It’s also very reassuring that we can add to our writing with the various uses of social media and other media outlets. Great post by the way!

  2. Hi caitlin:) Following up from the first comment, it’s so true. That’s all we hear these days about the journalism world! People always try getting me to switch majors because they claim it is a “dying field”. I always contemplating possibly switching for that reason but Dean Baquet really made it easy to stay optimistic and it seems like you agree as well. Just like you said, it gave me faith in my major too… thank the lord!! haha

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