What's It Like To Be a Young Journalist in Greece

Since I was a child, I have always wanted to become a journalist. Still from a young age, I had made up my mind on what I wanted to study and which university I wanted to register to. My family's objections on the difficulties I would have to face finding a job on this specific domain did not manage to make me change my mind and so, after studying a lot and making a great effort, I managed to enter the school I desired so much.

Time passed by quickly and before I had realized it, I had finished my studies and it was time for me to enter the job market. When I was still eighteen, I was doing my practice at the offices of a newspaper and at the same time, I started writing articles for different free presses.

As time was passing by, I realized more and more how difficult it was for a young person to enter the media and find a job that would offer him/her opportunities to develop and a decent salary. What made the greatest impression on me was the fact that the vast majority of the employees at the media were I did my practice had studied something completely different (and very often absolutely nothing) and had accidentally found themselves working there because they were friends or relatives of the Head. For example I met people who had studied Biology, Theology, Logistics, Gymnastics or Archaeology, people for whom journalism was a coincidence and not the profession of their choice.

Today, eleven years later, this phenomenon is so ordinary that, whenever somebody tells me that he has studied media, I look at him suspiciously. Another "lesson" I learnt while working for the media of my country is that young people are seldom given opportunities to show their talent, by making reportages that could indicate another side of the Greek reality, that the Greek public is in great need of.

Unfortunately, most of the media are staffed by veterans of journalism and the young people who are so willing to work, have to reduce themselves at making informational portals, earning only 200, 300 and if they 're lucky, 500 Euros without having standard working hours or days off. The work here is conducted on this way: the employees search on different sites and "copy-paste" the news. As a consequence, many young people are not able to write a text correctly when they are asked to, as they have not trained their writing skills adequately and their vocabulary is quite poor. The internet is certainly the first choice of the readers in the field of information. However, research is seldom conducted so the reportages in almost all sites look similar.

The only alternative for the young journalists are the personal blogs, where they can present their reportages and interviews with people from the world of art, science, sports or activism, works that they would love to read themselves on newspapers and magazines. I do not know if the doors in the field of information are also shut for the young journalists in other countries, but sometimes I wonder how different things would be, if information was richer and the voices of so many talented youngsters were heard at a wider extent.