“Newspapers are dying.”
Why is this one of the first things I’m taught in a journalism class?
Since the beginning of high school, I knew I wanted to study journalism in college. There was no question about it.
I took a journalism class my freshman year of high school and completely fell in love with it.
The people I interviewed. The sense of accomplishment when I finished laying out my pages on production night. The smell of the ink as you first open the paper.
I’m not a naïve person.
I know that as technology advances, it’s more likely that readers will look to the Internet as their main news source. And if newspapers don’t have subscriptions to sell, how will they pay their staff?
Well I’m sure that if you ask any journalist, they will definitely tell you that they’re in this profession for the money. For sure.
That’s actually the main reason I wanted to be a journalist. I want to live in a big, fancy house and drive a big, expensive car.
Or maybe it’s because I want to give a voice to those who otherwise wouldn’t be heard.
As someone who is serious about wanting to step into this profession, I found my university’s newspaper as soon as I got onto campus.
The story I’m working on now focuses on the school’s television station and what they do.
After only my first interview, I could tell that it’s going to be a good story to tell.
My first journalism teacher taught me to find the “gold coin,” the hook that draws the reader in and makes them want to read more.
The gold coin here is the passion that these students have for what they do.
For some, it’s sports. For others, it’s theater or music. For these students, it’s creating a product to share with those around them.
I asked the girl how being a part of the television station has affected her life, and her face immediately lit up as she thought about her response.
In that moment, it hit me that this is why I want to study journalism.
When people read my article, they will get a glimpse into this girl’s little world.
Last year I had the pleasure of writing a story about a basketball coach that retired from coaching to take care of his cancer-stricken wife. After her passing, he returned to coaching to maintain a sense of normalcy.
Coaching basketball played such a large role in his life that he turned to it to help him get back on his feet.
I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read something that has emotionally impacted me in some way.
I’ve read articles that have made me laugh and columns that have made me cry.
Words have power.
I may not end up being “successful” in the sense that I make lots of money.
I will be successful in that my words will make a difference to someone. If at least one person is positively affected by something that I have written, I will claim success.
So don’t tell me my major is useless and newspapers are dying. It won’t divert me from this path.
When you’re done discouraging the journalists, why don’t you go over to your local library and notify them of their inevitable downfall due to Kindles and e-readers. I’m sure they’ll get a kick out of it.