When I tell people I am majoring in journalism, I often receive an uneasy expression followed by the question: “Isn’t that a risky job?”
Not many students want to pursue a degree in journalism, saying it’s a problematic profession. Most people misunderstand journalism as a risky job, not to mention a dying career.
In movies, reporters are often portrayed as desperate individuals, forging the news, taking bribes from conglomerates, or risking their lives to report from dangerous areas like a war zone.
In reality, being a journalist doesn’t mean you have to run around all day risking your life. Reporting on sensitive or controversial issues can be dangerous, but it doesn’t happen every day.
Additionally, journalists are protected by the law and numerous organizations, UNESCO for instance. These organizations go to extreme lengths to keep press freedom and independent-media professionals safe from harassment, abduction, illegal arrest, arbitrary detention, murder, and other violations of human rights.
A journalist’s primary responsibility is to inform, and before anything else they should never get threatened for practicing their profession.
As a media practitioner, I strongly believe that as long as journalists works with professionalism, ethics, and transparency when reporting, nothing will harm them.
Journalism is not a dying industry either. I’ve heard people babbling about how the newspaper industry is dying, but little do they know that journalists still deliver the news through other media.
The print media industry may collapse, but journalism will never and must never die. As technology and the internet expand, traditional print news is rapidly going out of fashion. This does not, however, indicate the death of journalism.
Thanks to technology, journalism has advanced to different forms: the broadcasting stations, like television and radio, that we watch; the web sites we read; the tweets we follow; the Facebook posts we like.
According to The Elements of Journalism, “Journalism is storytelling with a purpose.” Storytelling has been around for as long as humankind. It revolves around our daily life.
Storytelling is central to the human existence, and for the same reason, people need news. Without the press, the world would be in chaos; everyone would be ill-informed, without any idea of what is going on around the world. A world without the news is just a blank white paper. Therefore, journalism is not dead; it just may no longer be in a printed form.
The world needs news. In order to protect the world from being ill-informed, we need more journalists. Everyone seems to be so concerned about false news, but not many people want to step up and become professional journalists.
Everyone really needs to change their perception of journalists. We can’t deny the fact that there are times when journalists were threatened by people with power. But if we all just continue to sit still and keep worrying, nothing is going to change. The world needs more journalists!