A journalism pep talk

It appears I am not alone in pondering the importance of a journalism degree this week.

San Francisco State University student Elizabeth Ireland questioned her decision to major in journalism in an excellent column written for New America Media this week, saying she should have chosen to be a mortician – a much more stable career – rather than following her heart into J-school. And with even the president beating up on the media this week in his address to Barnard College, blaming journalists for troubling America with its own troubles, it is easy to understand her feeling of hopelessness and anxiety.

In light of this negativity, I thought I would post a few happy facts for you aspiring newsies out there:

  • According to a Georgetown study, the unemployment rate for journalism majors is lower than the national average.
  • According to the 2010 U.S. census, journalists have a median income of $50,000.
  • A 2003 study found nearly 90 percent of journalists are “very satisfied” or “fairly satisfied” with their jobs.
  • A study by Lee Rainie found 83 percent of Americans consume some news every day.

I know things look grim for hopeful journalists, but I urge you not to give up. We will always need news. It may not look the same as it has traditionally, but it will always be there. And if you have a passion for finding it and delivering it, then we will always need you.


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