It makes me sad when I hear people say now is a bad time to join the journalism industry. Quite frankly, I can’t imagine a better time to join it. Is industry revenue in a decline? Yes. Are newsrooms downsizing? Yeah. Is the greater public losing trust in today’s journalists? You bet they are.
All of these things, at face value, point to now being a bad time to get into journalism, but if you dig a little bit, you’ll find there is so much more opportunity now than there has been in a long time — perhaps ever. Today’s journalists have a huge responsibility to turn our industry around, bring it back to profitability. That’s a daunting task, no doubt, but it should and must be the turning point. This is our moment to change our industry. We have this amazing chance to show the world journalism can be so much more than words printed on a page, minute packages on an evening newscast and short interviews on the radio. Journalism must change.
Only six percent of people consider media very trustworthy (Rasmussen). 42 percent of people do not trust media. That doesn’t make now a bad time to join the industry; that makes now the best time to join the industry. This industry needs to be rebuilt to be stronger, sturdier and much, much more flexible. When journalism began, editors, reporters and newsmakers packaged it in the way they thought people should consume the news. What we have now are ways to see how people actually consume their news. Instead of sticking our industry’s head in the sand, we need to change the way we produce our content. We need to grow with our readers.
I’m excited to be joining this field, and that won’t ever change.