Why I Don’t Want To Work In Journalism

journalism

You’d think that having spent the last two years of my life studying Journalism, I’d be set on my way towards the industry. But umm, yeah about that…things didn’t quite work out that way.

In my college experience post, I discussed how I never actually wanted to study journalism – my life just took a detour that I wasn’t OK with. Granted, I wasn’t entirely *against* journalism to begin with, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone down that path in the first place. But it didn’t take me long to realise that actually, I really, really don’t want to work in journalism.

And so we have another ramble of a post, in which I try to explain my reasons why.

10

General Disinterest

Honestly, it’s surprising I even managed the course in the first place. I’m REALLY not the sort of person who finds it easy to go up and randomly talk to someone, and considering that’s basically the premise of an interview – a key thing needed in journalism – there’s our first problem.

There’s not all that much I’d enjoy about doing actual journalism work. Researching is more than fine, I love that. But carrying out interviews? No thank you. I’m not a huge fan of writing, especially when there’s so many rules to consider. Especially when I have zero interest in what I’m writing. Photography and filmmaking I’m fine with, but only as a laidback hobby. And the technical side of things? …that’s just a straight up NOPE.

While studying I didn’t find it so bad, especially so in the second year because I had managed to base my project on books, and so it wasn’t so different to what I usually do in my spare time. But interest makes all the difference, and I know that would very rarely be there if working for a company and just being told what to create content for.

cup

Contributing To Media-Set Stereotypes

And here’s where the rest of this post basically becomes a ranty mess of morals.

Studying journalism meant we had a LOT of stereotyping. We had to analyse magazines, explain how certain language/colours/designs were used to appeal to certain audiences. Everything was about subconsciously influencing people, making sure women looked the “right size”, while men needed to look like chiseled gods.

Even outside of studying magazines, it’s obviously shown in general news media too. This all being around the time when disasters were happening all over the world – bomb attacks in different places, etc etc. It hardly takes a genius to notice the bias in English media. The news headlines – every single time – pointing out when the attacker was possibly Muslim and deeming them a terrorist, but making them out to be a poor mentally unstable victim when they’re a white man.

I specifically remember one day in class, someone bringing this kind of thing up with the tutor. Were we being trained to write this way? Why did we have to tailor our language to be more chatty/silly/lighthearted just because the audience may be mostly women? How can people become more open-minded about race (and similar topics) when the newspapers keep it going, just with a few well placed words into people’s subconscious?

Her response – in trying to keep us motivated – was something along the lines of “it can only change if YOU change it. You’re the next generation going into those jobs.”

Which is true. So very true.

But you see, I don’t think we’re there yet. Call me a pessimist, but I’m pretty sure if I worked for a journalistic company, and refused to mention something they told me to write about – an attackers religion, or about how women can lose weight quicker, or ANYTHING along those lines, just because I don’t agree with it…I’d get sacked. Simple as that. You see miraculous stories where people are actually listened to, but they’re nowhere near as common as they ought to be. And I think there’s a while to go yet.

coffee and glasses

The Intrusive Journalist

Then we get to something that makes me seethe with rage every single time I see it done.

Journalists intruding on situations that would be better left alone.

I KNOW they’re there to collect news. I KNOW that’s their entire purpose. But so so often, I see journalists absolutely crowding people who are victims of some horrid story, relentlessly digging and pestering. I see them whipping out cameras to film events rather than trying to help the people obviously in distress. Or if not the sort of journalist to attend events, I see the sort who carelessly write and publish content that could potentially cause so much damage to the people mentioned.

I just don’t understand how people can do it.

It’s Not All Bad, I Know

I’ve absolutely slated on journalism here, but I know it’s not all bad. There are plenty of journalists who are out there doing amazing work. There are plenty of people standing against those crappy stereotypes.

But I am not that person.

More often than not, English journalism makes me rage in one way or the other, and I just…don’t want to be part of that.



So there’s that awful long babble!

If you have anything to comment, please do leave them down below. It’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts!

Until next time…

Ashleigh

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32 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Want To Work In Journalism

  1. Hey there! I actually understand you, me on the other hand don’t want to word in the finance/banking industry, I took up financial management just for the sake of having a “professional” job after graduation. I always loved writing and documentaries, now I am a writer in a magazine and still finding a job that I know will suit me but it’s kinda hard because of the degree that I have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve managed to sum up exactly why I no longer want to work in the journalism industry as I did a few years ago. The main reason for me is body shaming- I’m just not ok with making someone feel like that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Journalism does sound awfully interesting, but I’ve chosen to opt for English in Uni instead because journalists can often cross the ethical line. I find it terrible that some people are so desperate to get stories, whether it be pressure from their firm or simply because they want to move up in the world, that they take advantage of and emotionally harm those who they want the story from. I’ve seen a couple of ‘behind the scenes’ of big stories, and it looks utterly overwhelming. I would be cowering even if something terrible hadn’t happened to me, so I can only imagine how the ‘stars’ of the stories must feel.

    On the change aspect: I do agree that people will probably get fired if they refuse to word articles in the way that they are required to do, or at least get the story passed to someone else. In order to stick up to people in that aspect, you do need to be financially and job secure otherwise you might be risking your own livelihood.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m about to go into my third year of studying journalism, so this was really interesting to read! I definitely understand your feelings on all of this, thankfully my school actually spends a lot of time on things like racial profiling, so we’re not being trained to write like that at all, same with things like body shaming. When I read your experiences I’m very thankful that my school doesn’t do that.

    I definitely still want to work in journalism, because I want to make a difference and I feel like I can as a journalist, but I will make sure that I’ll work for the right medium who won’t make me mention someone’s skin colour or religion when that has nothing to do with it or body shame.

    I hope you’ll find a great job that you’ll be happy with! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I knew journalists had it rough. Didn’t know how rough, but I see now. I’m a rebel by heart; won’t ever change. I can’t work for anyone that’ll tell me what to do and it’s not with what I believe to be good intentions. I feel for journalists. Seems like there’s not much freedom to be you unless you make it that way somehow. You seem like you’ll be fine though, like you can find a respectable way to voice your true thoughts. Who knows what the future holds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      Yeah it’s pretty rough when the people paying you are against you – I do feel sorry for those journalists who just have to stick with it to get by!

      Like

  6. I’ve always been interested in journalism as I like to follow current events and I love writing, but this post definitely gives an interesting perspective on things I hadn’t considered before. I definitely don’t want to rule it out as a career, but I agree – I don’t think I could write about something that I wasn’t comfortable with morally.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you’re genuinely interested in it then stick to it! I’m not saying it’s all bad, I just went of it myself. Hopefully it’ll become less common for journalists to simply be told what to write no matter their own thoughts 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. my girl I am a journalist in Colombia (I graduate in december) but I TOTALLY AM WITH YOU! I hate the intrusive journalism. I am a person more than a journalist, I really hate it. I did most of my works with books and literature and tv and movies (things that I love) but I don’t want to work in a journalistic company too (I got a crisis when i was in the second year and wanted to quit but I finally stayed).

    Thanks for this

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Totally agree with what you said. Unless you’re working for a company that values your opinions and let’s you speak your mind, you’re bound to have to write something you don’t agree with. And I don’t think I could live with that. I understand that we have to make the changes, but it isn’t that easy. It takes a lot of courage and a huge amount of risk too

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Definitely! And when media wants/needs to mass produce, more often than not they can’t really handle any delays so if one of their writers is speaking out against it, they’re most likely going to be sacked and replaced by someone who won’t!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I had a course on magazine publishing, and I totally get what you’re saying. A lot of journalism is really about selling people something, even if it’s not technically a product. (And often it is.) There’s also the schedule, especially if you’re working at a news magazine/site/paper. You would a lot to make sure everything is done quickly and one time.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Interesting perspective. I, too, studied journalism. I completely agree with your point on how the whole industry is consumed by ads and “breaking” the story first. Cultural documentaries and investigative journalism is what I consider journalism. I hate the whole anchor thing but I like the movie Anchorman. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The documentary type seems so much more interesting to me anyway! Like the level of research dedicated to it is fascinating, rather than just people trying to break stories with any possible information they have at the time

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Well said. Being a journalism student I agree. It frightens me that I have to conform to hold a job. I am going to try and stay true to my ethics. By reading your post, it delights me that I am not alone in these thoughts.
    Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

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