It’s good to be in journalism. Seriously.
By Tiffany Luckey
With all of the negativity about the journalism industry (layoffs, credibility, the unhealthy obsession with Jon and Kate Gosselin), many young people wanting to get in the field feel dubious. And that’s expected, seeing as how journalism is not as glamorous as it once was.
So why should young people care about journalism or even opt for it as a career?
Believe it or not, there are good reasons why those in their 20s and early 30s should choose a career in journalism. Seriously. Here are four reasons why I’m holding on to this industry:
The perks. Everyone that’s anybody knows that “awesome” is not a word one uses to describe the salary for people in journalism. According to salary.com, the average salary for an entry-level reporter in a mid-sized city in the Mid-west, as in Cincinnati, is between $20,000 and $25,000. Sigh. But the free perks that come with the position sometimes help compensate for lack of monetary compensation. Free concert tickets, free admission to events, occasional free meals, free previews of art exhibits that have yet to open to the public. You know, the good stuff. And don’t forget press passes. While everyone else gnaws and chews their way to get front seats at a free lecture given by a local celebrity, you flash your “I’m with the press” badge and, voila, you’re at the front of the pack. Sweet. (NOTE: If perks are the main or only reason you want to get or stay in journalism, then you’re in the wrong industry. But they are nice, nonetheless.)
The knowledge. If you’re an inquisitive person, like myself, then there’s no greater feeling than knowing something that possibly the general public doesn’t know yet. Enough said. Plus, it feels like you’re getting paid to learn, even if the pay is lower than what you want or expected.
The bylines. Sure. You chose journalism as a way to connect with people through news and media, to get to the bottom of an issue, to find the truth. But let’s be honest. A part of you chose journalism because you’re a narcissist and you like seeing your byline of a newspaper or magazine article, even if nobody else notices (because nine times out of 10, they don’t). Isn’t that reason enough to stay? I keed, I keed.
The love of informing. Everyone has a story to tell, and you like telling that story to everyone else through news. Yes, journalism has gotten a bad reputation over the last decade or so for shady ethics and shadier reporting. But a few bad stories do not equate to the plethora of inspiring stories that make being a reporter worthwhile.
What are some other reasons to stay or get into journalism?