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article imageOp-Ed: A fresh look at an old industry Special

By Tyler Loveless     Dec 1, 2013 in Business
When it came time for my high school senior project the first thought that came to my mind was, “How can I get this over as soon as possible?” My first thought was job shadowing. A quick, one time trip, and a couple essays and I’ll be done.
I am a news junkie, I eat it up, and so it didn’t take much for me to arrive at journalism for my job shadowing adventure. I wanted the project to be as pain free as possible which is why, obviously, I chose something that interests me, but I have to admit I wasn’t optimistic about what I would find while looking into the journalism field.
I have seen the lists, “Top 10 Worst Jobs,” with journalism heading it up. I have seen the statistics on growth, or lack thereof for the occupation. From a numbers standpoint it wasn’t looking good. I half expected to enter the local newspaper and find a few old people sitting quietly dazed with ink stains on their clothes and cold coffee in the corner. But thanks to shows and movies portraying the stereotypical newsroom as a bustling place, I still had a glimmer of hope. What I found was quite amazing. It was a print newspaper, but it was full of young journalist who very apparently loved what they were doing. I talked to several people and what I found were young professionals who loved there jobs, but not for reasons the average person considers. It wasn’t the money or the good hours or the demand. It was that each and every one of them found meaning in their job. Talk of the importance of the position they hold and the freedoms their jobs demonstrate were the reasons they listed for coming into work each day. I have to say it rubbed off on me. They were excited to be there and the energy that filled the air was, well, energizing!
In addition to the passion that filled the building, there was something else I noticed; technology. Even at the average city paper where I live, the focus on digital media was at the center of everything that they were doing. Multiple DSLR’s on every desk and a crew of people dedicated specifically to online, digital media showed that social media and digital integration was at the top of their list, and with good reason. Nearly 1 in 10 Americans get news from Twitter and nearly a third of Americans get news from Facebook (for better or worse). Half of Americans get their news digitally and that number jumps even higher for people under the age of 25. The emphasis of the paper was clearly no longer on their print readership but everything digital. Even an iPhone app is available for the local paper’s readers.
After what turned into multiple visits and some online research I began to realize what has happened to the journalism industry. It is not what some call a “dying industry” but one that is simply evolving. Journalism has transformed from print to digital but with a struggle. Perhaps it was a little late to adopt the tech world which caused some strain but it is clearly booming now. Sites like The Verge and the Huffington Post, which live solely online, attract huge numbers and great demographics. Demand for journalists in this job market might be low at the moment but from my point of view the end is no where in sight. This is an adjustment period, and I am looking forward to being part of the next generation of dedicated, forward thinking journalists.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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