Last night, I participated in a panel discussion at American University titled “The Future of Journalism: A Degree Worth Pursuing?”. The two other panelists were Wendy Rieger, a newscaster from channel 4, and Josh Kraushaar, a reporter from POLITICO.
The majority of the students who attended this forum seemed interested in how they could secure a job after graduation and succeed in the media industry.
While riding the BoltBus from New York City to Washington, DC, I compiled some notes to prepare myself for the panel. I would like to share a few points from these notes. After my notes, you will find a like to a PDF; this PDF contains feedback from friends, colleagues, and contributors to Too Shy to Stop.
Do you think journalism and media jobs will continue to exist and develop? Why?
People will always need and want access to valuable information and high-quality content. Communication is a basic human impulse; it brings us together and helps us craft and develop our individual and collective identities.
However, as students almost ready to enter the “real world”, you have to realize that media is a competitive and transitional industry. Sure, your talents and skills will always be in demand, but the gatekeepers (editors, producers, executives) may not always know how to best utilize your skills. The jobs aren’t going to create themselves, and they sure as hell aren’t going to fall into your lap.
Talented and ambitious individuals like you will have to create your own jobs and carve new and exciting places for yourselves within the media industry. Making it in media and journalism is going to be difficult, but the right opportunities will always be available for people who know how to take advantage of them.
You’re going to have to be creative and persistent, and you’re going to have to constantly redefine your role. The future of journalism lies in the hands of entrepreneurs and visionaries who are willing to take risks and move forward in uncharted territory.
In this PDF, find insight into the issues that plague young journalists. I posed the question, “In today’s economy, is a journalism degree valuable?”. Find a wide variety of answers from young people who did and didn’t study journalism and who are trying to make something of their college degrees. Click here to download the PDF.
(Photo by Eric Wilkens)