Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Hi, I'm a journalist. Please step into my cardboard box that is my home.

What is the value of a journalism degree? Apparently not much, according to this column in the Cleveland Plain-Dealer by Connie Schultz because journalism students realize there is no money in newspapers. Instead, they go into PR, advertising, marketing or other areas. In the column, it says...

"They want to keep the baby-boomer lifestyle to which they've become accustomed," said a professor at a school that boasts a boatload of Pulitzer Prize winners among its alumni. "The thought of starting out at $25,000 or $30,000 to expose corruption and champion the underdog just doesn't do it for them. They have no interest."

The quote makes sense, but I would kill to make $25,000 to $30,000 at this point, considering I would have made about $16,000 or so at the paper who interviewed me. Regarding a journalism degree, I don't know if it is worthless, but if you're tens of thousands of dollars in debt due to college loans before you get a job, it is no wonder people are going into other areas. I am willing to take less because I like the job and I like what it stands for in my mind, but very few people anymore are going to think that. I don't blame them, and I probably will do it too when I because angry, jaded and completely lose whatever enthusiasm I ever had for the job.

Plus with j-school, the only way it is worth anything is if the professors let you DO journalism. Sitting in a classroom listening to a professor drone on and on and on and on about the inverted pyramid (in a 400-level class, no less) is worthless. Revolt!*

* - Yes, Butler Reporting Public Affairs people, I'm talking to you. As if I didn't make it obvious enough.

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And speaking of journalism, if New York Times reporter Judith Miller had a security clearance from the United States Military, that is one of the biggest journalism scandals ever. It means the U.S. government had a mouthpiece who represented this country's paper of record. It's government licensing of a journalist, and the Times allowed this? All that time she claimed to be protecting the First Amendment by not revealing her sources, she was making a mockery of what journalism represents. The Times needs to disipline or fire her, and if they don't (and they have been way too secretive on this), they shouldn't be allowed to look themselves in the mirror.

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I love it when I write all angry and passionate at 4:01 a.m. I'm really not angry. I just like to write so it sounds like I'm angry. I mean, yeah, the whole thing is a joke, but I'm not mad. I have no control over any of it, so I guess passionate apathy is the way to go. I'll learn all I can about it, but at the end of the day, it's not going to determine if I can sleep at night. But right now I can't sleep because there is a monster under my bed.

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