By Annalise Mishler
You may have noticed while strolling around campus that the majority of students have their eyes glued to their phones while walking to and from class. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit … the list goes on.
Unless I’m talking with my friends, I am admittedly one of those passersby with my nose in my iPhone. The difference, however, is that I’m probably not tweeting. I’m very likely not on Instagram, and I’m definitely not on Facebook. I’m scrolling through the news.
I’m a journalism major, and I am in love with it. It is my absolute passion and life calling.
So many people wrongly believe that my journalism classes consist of learning how to sit and look pretty while getting my makeup done before a broadcast segment, or tirelessly writing bland articles that are then mass produced on the ol’ printing press. (OK, that may have been a slight exaggeration.)
It is so much more than that. I have learned about the amazing impact of the media on society, how to shoot and edit video, how to tell a compelling story and how to be ethical as both a person and a journalist. I have learned more about laws and amendments than I thought possible, and I am shocked by how much those things actually interest me.
Truthfully, you would be an uninformed citizen if it were not for journalists. Journalists have so much to do with your everyday life — more than you probably realize. We are expected to be on the scene before anyone else so that we may inform the public as quickly and accurately as possible.
It is never boring. There are so many different facets of journalism: broadcast, print, strategic communications, personal relations, photojournalism, digital media and more. As an aspiring news anchor, I know that I will use skills from all areas of my journalism training to help me be successful.
I have become a successful blogger with the skills learned in my journalism classes. I get paid to share my opinion … imagine that!
The media is often criticized for being misinformed, pushy, misleading and concerned with all the wrong things. While I fully agree that certain individuals and companies are more focused on ratings and extrinsic rewards, it is not always the case. Think about the coverage on 9/11. Think about the day that Osama Bin Laden was assassinated or when Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast.
Journalists informed you of those events. We entertain, enlighten and tirelessly deliver information to the general public so that we may remain safe, educated and aware.
Shockingly, we don’t do it for the pay. Why? This field will generally not guarantee six or seven figures a year. We do it because we love it.
The adrenaline of arriving to a scene first. The satisfaction of seeing your name and article in print. The giddiness of watching yourself on television and laughing at everything you could have done better. That’s why we do what we do.
Despite certain people who believe that journalism is a dying field, I have to (dis)respectfully disagree. There will always be a need for information. Even celebrity news is news! Curiosity never will kill the cat, because the cat can pull up their news app of choice to see what’s going on across the world.
We have a thirst for knowledge. We have a way with words — both written and spoken. We can make you feel important simply by striking up a conversation with you because we truly are intrigued by you. We’re intelligent. We’ll reprimand you for using improper grammar, and we won’t care when you make fun of us for it.
We will fool you with our fake smiles and dazzle you with our real ones. We don’t like being told no, and we’re always asking “why?” We’re terrifyingly good at networking and getting what we want, but in the end we do it all to serve you. We have a duty to inform the public, so inform the public we shall.
Annalise Mishler studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.