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A future in Journalism
By Amber Gragert
With a journalism major, there is the thrill of "the search", investigation and the hunt for new information. The world is in dire need of good journalists with a biblical world view; ones who have and seek accountability, honesty and integrity in their work. It is a high calling to spread truth to a mass audience. Are you up to the challenge? As a journalism major, you will learn all there is to know about reporting and writing. You cannot have one without the other in journalism. Another critical theme you will learn about is libel laws and the effect of the media on different audiences and, in general, its effect on the world. You will also learn about every type of journalism - broadcast journalism, investigative journalism, photojournalism, social media and sports journalism - among others.
The more obvious professions of a journalism major are ones like a newspaper, television network, local radio, or entertainment writing online. Choosing this major will not only prepare you for those careers solely in the realm of traditional journalism, but it is also a major that opens doors to a wide variety of other careers that require good writing skills. Careers like those in advertising, business, marketing, and public relations are all examples of avenues you could take as a journalism major. The internet has caused the news to dramatically evolve over the recent decades. You have an advantage as a young person in a millennium of smart phones and social media - use it.
"There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil."
The evolution of news primarily being brought to audiences by way of print and television to now primarily via the internet, has created a huge surge to the news industry. This in turn creates countless jobs for people like professional bloggers and social media managers. That could be you as well!
Here are some tips for aspiring journalism majors:
1) If you haven't already, start networking now. The art of "knowing a guy, who knows this guy, who knows a guy..." is like gold for a great journalist or reporter. Start introducing yourself and talking to people. It may seem a bit daunting, but practice makes perfect. And, follow up is key if you don't hear back from someone. These are critical skills for landing a great internship or job later.
2) "Get a thick skin" - this applies aptly in journalism so get well acquainted and comfortable with criticism. The only way to get better at your craft is learning by way of critiques and criticism. Accept that it is a part of the job, glean any information you can from it, use it and move on. Journalism can be a grueling but very rewarding job.
3) Internships are very competitive, so beef up your resume with activities like participating in your school newspaper, campus radio station or perhaps your church's e-newsletter. Campus involvement is crucial!
4) Study libel laws.
5) Keep up with current world events by reading and watching a variety of different news sources.
6) Learn to be a great researcher and how to find interview sources.
7) Perfect and sharpen your editing and computer skills.
With all these skills at hand, you will be ready to take the media world by storm and set a blaze in the hearts of your audience. Shine your light and let the truth be told.
"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16 ESV