Here’s Why You Should Consider Becoming a Journalist

Student Life

They say that the pen is mightier than the sword--and this is true for all sorts of writers, including journalists. Though it might not seem like it at first glance, journalism is a powerful career to choose. Think about it--you are not simply relaying news and information (though that's important too!) but you are recording history as it happens. The content you put out there as a journalist will not only be read in the present and shape this generation's mindset, but it will also be there years into the future, when historians are trying to figure out just what was going on in the past.

With that said, here are some more reasons you should consider journalism as a career!

1. Becoming a Storyteller

Most of us writers are drawn into this particular hobby through reading fiction, then becoming inspired to write our own stories--and the rest is history. But what does this have to do with journalism?

As mentioned above, facts and reports are not the only things that make up the work of a journalist. In fact, one of the things that made me fall in love with journalism is how it combines these factual aspects with storytelling. You are essentially like a fiction author in that you are recounting events and people's actions, as well as thoughts and perspectives regarding them, with the exception that everything is real.

2. Using Your Voice & Diversifying the Field

Diversity is important in many aspects of our lives, from our food choices to the types of media we consume. Each and every one of us has a unique perspective that has been molded by our environment, experiences, childhood, socioeconomic status, racial/ethnic identity, nationality, culture, religious beliefs, and countless other factors. Becoming a journalist provides you a platform where you can ensure that your viewpoint is heard.

This is especially true for those who belong to minorities that are often underrepresented or misunderstood by the media, but even if you do not, no one else has quite the same mindset or point of view as you do. In order for humanity to truly progress and advance, voices and ideas from all walks of life and backgrounds need to be taken into consideration and discussed.

3. Speaking of representation...

Journalism gives you the ability to amplify voices that might otherwise be unheard or oppressed--even if you are not among them. In fact, if you are a part of the majority or are priveleged in any sort of way, as an ally, you can use to this to the advantage of minorities by interviewing them and actively shedding light on their experiences. Essentially, you can use your platform as a figurative megaphone for people who otherwise might not have a willing or listening audience.

4. Feed Your Curiosity & Gain Insight

If you are one of those people who are constantly asking why and how, then you might as well take the opportunity to channel your inner busybody or detective and make money out of it! Being a journalist requires curiosity and the drive to learn new things. As you uncover stories and dig into events, you will find yourself discovering things about the culture, politics, and inner workings of the world that you may never have thought or known of before. Not to mention, you'll be the first to know the answers to all of these questions before anyone else does.

5. Meet New People & Build a Network

As you write and report about stories and events, you will inevitably meet and build rapport with all types of people on the way, whether they are colleagues, interviewees, or sources for your information. These experiences will form you into a more cultured and aware person, and help widen your perspective towards life and the world around you, in addition to polishing your social skills. Also, having all of these connections and contacts can open many career-related doors and opportunities for you in the future!

6. Exciting, Engaging Workdays

When you become a journalist, you can kiss boring, tedious hours spent in a cubicle goodbye. Though you will certainly have to sit down at some point and write, much of your time will be spent out there, meeting new people and seeing the world. Many journalists also happen to be freelancers, meaning they can work remotely from just about anywhere, whether they're at home or on an exotic vacation. Some jobs might actually require you to travel and cover stories from other countries!

Deciding on the best and most fulfilling career path for yourself is often a confusing and difficult ordeal--some people never really find it. However, if all of the above sounds appealing to you, then journalism might be a good fit!

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Salma Amrou

Salma Amrou is a 15-year-old Egyptian-American poet and aspiring author. She has won two first-place prizes in the fiction category of the Young Authors Contest in her school district. Aside from writing, she can be found reading classic literature, surfing obscure Wikipedia pages, journaling, and procrastinating on her homework.


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