Journalism will never die as long as the world has news to report and requires someone to report it. The digital age might be hurting journalism in its traditional form, but something unequivocally better may be on the verge. For those of you who have doubts about thrusting yourself into the wild and wonderful world of journalism, look no further to end your questioning.
1. Curiosity didn't kill the cat
If you're like me, you have a natural thirst for knowledge. I constantly ask "why?" in my head, but as a journalist, I get to ask those questions out loud. It takes an inquisitive yet sensitive type of person to get information out of people. If you love to gossip or coaxed your older brother into telling you where your mom hid the Christmas presents as a kid, you'll likely be a stellar reporter. Just don't repeatedly punch your subject in the arm to get the information out of them or else they'll also tell mom on you.
2. Say goodbye to the cubicle
Being a journalist allows you to work remotely. You don't need to spend your days in a lab or an office filling out those TPS reports like other professions require. As a freelancer, depending on your beat, you have the freedom to write from home, coffee shops or maybe even the beaches of Brazil. If you really want to satisfy your wanderlust, write for a publication like National Geographic or Sunset -- they'll jet you off to cover stories all over the world.
If you're a journalist, you hear about things right when they happen. In other words, you hear before everyone else...#Braggingrights. Journalists know what happened, why it happened and who caused it. If you've always wondered why things are the way they are or the backstory that the general public doesn't know, journalism positions you for insider access.
4. Feed your narcissism
When you see your byline or bio in print, you can't help but feel a sense of pride. It's exciting to know that a simple Google search will prominently present your professional portfolio and even maybe push that "other" stuff down. You'll have the opportunity to quip "just Google me" when someone asks to see your work.
5. Build a network
As a journalist you talk to new sources daily and your network builds exponentially. Not only can this network offer future story ideas, but they can also help with potential job opportunities. Through the interview process, you establish a rapport with people and because they already trust you, they are more willing to help you out.
6. You speak good
Prepare to crush your competition in "Words with Friends." Journalists develop a knack for finding the perfect combination of words to get their point across, so naturally your vocabulary will grow. Discover new ways to use the English language and embrace your inner logophile.
7. Learn new things
As a journalist, you learn what works, what doesn't and why. Discoveries are around every corner. It also teaches introspection. You challenge yourself, discover your fears and desires, and learn about yourself and your role in the world. Several years ago I had an internship editing poetry and prose written by incarcerated youth for a bi-monthly publication. Reading the words of young people who had lost everything and being able to contribute to their growth instilled mutual inspiration and reflection.
8. Tell stories for a living
Besides Britney Spears and professional taste-tester, storyteller was my dream career as a kid. I told elaborate, imaginative stories and even wrote them down. I just didn't know it was a real career until I got older. If you're a natural born storyteller, you're in the right place.
9. Take a walk on the wild side
Journalism will introduce you to exotic foods, new bands and new places. Be prepared to embrace your inner wild child and go out of your comfort zone. I recently got the opportunity to report at a major music festival. Although covering such a massive event was nerve-wracking, it opened my eyes to a corner of journalism that I had yet to explore.
10. Become a people person
You're given the opportunity to meet all kinds of people. You wouldn't cross paths with these people under any other circumstances, and they can really challenge your perspective on life and teach you what it's like to be in someone else's shoes. You don't just get to know the people you interview, but your audience too. You learn to understand what piques people's interest, what makes them laugh, and what tugs at their heartstrings. You know how to entertain and even persuade the masses.
Go to CollegeMagazine.com to get the full list.