They say that journalists can only enter the profession out of pure passion—and it couldn’t be truer. Journalism is tough, but thankfully student life prepares us for what’s to come. Here are 12 things journalism students understand.
1) Being forced to be opinionated about an opinion: It may not seem like it, but journalists refrain from picking sides. Most of the time they are given sides to pick. We have to embrace the “go with the flow” attitude because being judgmental is out of question.
2) Learning to love strangers: Even if you’re totally disinterested in what a total stranger has to say, you have to at least appear to be interested. Asking random strangers personal questions is something you’ve gotten the hang of—maybe a little too much.
3) The spell checker is your personal favorite editor: Proofreading your documents is daunting. Thanks to your word processors in-built editor, the jobs done in a fly.
4) There’s no deadline like a journalism deadline: Journalism students understand where the words “dead” in “deadline” came from. You’d rather be dead than miss a deadline. It gets even worse when you’re friends are already halfway through their assignments when you’ve barely started.
5) It wasn’t for the money: Your journalism teachers tell you this over and over again. If you’re a writer, forget about the money. If you thought unpaid internships was a bad thing, wait till you graduate.
6) Having no idea what you’re writing about: An editor’s an editor. Demanding work and meeting a deadline is more important than knowing what you’re supposed to be doing. So every time you get a topic that flies above your head, you silently curse, say a prayer, and start typing away God knows what.
7) Receiving hate mail – a.k.a trolls: Everyone in arts and humanities has to get used to negative feedback. But sometimes, it’s just drills a hole in your heart, especially when you’re starting out. No matter how hard you try or how fair you sound, some people just troll for the heck of trolling. Thankfully, though, there comes a time when you just get used to it.
8) The Word Count Obsession: It’s almost as if your life hangs on word count. When the words aren’t enough, you’re looking for way to fill in here and there, and somehow magically turn an uncomplicated subject into an exhaustive one. So much for being “concise”. Then there are moments when you are asked to decrease word count. Ughh…. all those beautiful sentences!
9) The thesaurus is your next best friend when you are pursuing journalism: Learning fancy vocabulary is just a matter of opening up a thesaurus. Choose a word that sounds good, insert, replace, voila!
10) When your professor rips apart your story: You haven’t hurt more than the time when your prof bashed your story because of all the “flaws” he saw which you couldn’t. Whatever happened to praising hard work!
11) Everything’s an Article: You write everything like a story. You’re casual, you have a unique voice, and it’s all perfect—until you realize that you’re supposed to be writing a dissertation like a professional dissertation writer, or wait, maybe an essay, or perhaps—just an email.
12) The dread of being asked “what’s your major”: You’ve gotten used to hearing implicit and explicit remarks about how clever (NOT) your choice of a major was. You keep telling yourself that all you need is passion, grit, and gumption to make it to the top. After all, people like Neilson Bernard, Maureen Dowd, Katie Couric, and Brit Hume had no trouble influencing people around the globe with their stories, right?
Whichever the case, you’ve chosen to do what you love, and you love what you do when you chose to do journalism.
…And that’s really all that matters.
Rochelle Ceira works as a chief editor for an online platform that offers academic assistance to learners and educators alike. When not working, she enjoys writing blogs on career planning, entrepreneurship, leadership skills, etc.
Which one of these '12 things journalism students will understand' do you relate to?