By Kristine Pascual, April 18, 2023
As a young woman who aspires to be a journalist someday, I have received many backhanded comments from others regarding the journalism field. I often get asked, “Why?” or get comments like, “You do know that you’re not going to earn a lot of money.”
Yes, I am well aware that journalists do not get paid nearly as much as doctors or lawyers. I don’t let these questions or comments frustrate me because I know that journalism is what I want to pursue. It is my passion.
I used to get annoyed by such comments, but I have gotten used to them. Though redundancy can get annoying, I take every negative comment with a grain of salt. I come from a family of nurses and engineers, so when I decided to pursue journalism, there was some chatter trying to convince me to not go forward with journalism as a career.
I always knew that my brain never worked in the way a nurse’s would. I like to explore the creative side of my brain and have never been great with memorization or numbers, to say the least.
With artificial intelligence on the rise, I have also received comments regarding what the journalism career field will be like with new technology constantly being developed. People want to know whether I see AI as a competitor or not, whether I think that AI will be the reason my career fails. Though I acknowledge the power of AI, I do believe that journalists are needed now more than ever in a world full of never-ending violence and cruelty.
AI programs lack empathy. In a world filled with tragedy, we need to come together to feel for each other. A few months ago, Vanderbilt University sent an email to the campus regarding the Michigan State University shooting. The email ended with text that read, “Paraphrase from OpenAI’s ChatGPT AI language model, personal communication, February 15, 2023.”
The university used ChatGPT to write a statement for them rather than crafting the email themselves. Vanderbilt received scrutiny for their actions and later issued an apology.
Seeing high officials utilize AI to write sensitive condolences is offensive. A college campus that needed empathy and the feeling of security more than anything instead received an email written by a bot.
Journalists are storytellers; we are the comforters to let the world and our communities know that everything might not be okay. Though the news is typically flooded with hate and negativity, journalists keep the world updated and informed. With recent tragedies like the number of mass shootings in America or the threat of removing the abortion pill from markets, it is up to journalists to keep the public informed and act as a voice for the people.
Journalism is a powerful tool to drive social change. Through various types of media, journalists educate the public about serious issues and raise awareness about national problems that need to be addressed.
Without journalism, we would not have a true democracy. With strong journalists in the media, we are able to keep facts within news stories credible, leading to a better, more informed society. Whether you like it or not, journalism is a necessary part of society.
The fascinating thing about journalism is that it does not strictly boil down to news stories. It also comes in the form of opinion or entertainment. No matter the amount of intake, most people enjoy hearing gossip whether it be through an online publication or via Instagram. There are different types of media for everyone to stay updated on the latest news.
Journalism brings important stories to the table. Take New York Times reporters Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor as prime examples of the power of journalism. Through fine journalism, these women were able to take down a predator who was one of Hollywood’s biggest and most influential producers, Harvey Weinstein.
Finally, journalism brings the world closer together, making it feel more like a community rather than being separated by borders. We read about current events in other countries and stay on top of what is going on. From natural disasters to political elections, we stay connected through the media.
It certainly is getting more and more difficult to pursue a career in this field. With attention spans getting shorter and shorter, it’s difficult to keep people interested whilst also being informed on the latest events.
Again and again, I get comments regarding journalism and how it’s not the best paying job out there. I know that. I’m not in the field for money, I’m here because I have genuine love for journalism. I hope that one day I can impact a life or two with what I write or report on.
Our job isn’t to be famous or rich, it’s to inform and educate the public about the truth.
Feature image by Jackson Gray
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