Spoke earlier today at a journalism conference in New York City. This one.
I love talking to college students, because, quite frankly, I feel like—from a journalism standpoint—they often need reminders. And urgings. And emphasis. These days, all we hear is how the field is decaying and the written word is vanishing and newspapers are collapsing and the future is bleaker than bleak. Just the other day, at Manhattanville, I had a guest lecturer (via Skype) talk about his love of the craft … then advise students not to pursue it as a career. My heart sunk.
Pursue it. Go after it. Do it. Chase it.
Journalism is hard. And, at this moment, really confusing. Factually, newspapers and magazines are fading away. Print feels like a thing of the past. I fly, and 80 percent of passengers seem to be reading an electronic device, not a printed book. Again, it’s hard to grasp. A little disconcerting.
But, still. awesome. I love writing. Like, love it, love it, love it. Not merely “having written.” I love the process. The pain. The heartache. The acquiring of information and the piecing of it all together. I love being allowed to ask people anything I want, solely because I identify myself as a “journalist.” Is it heartbreaking at times? Yes. I still hate being edited; still have thin skin. But the euphoria trumps the down times by 100,000.
So go for it. Stick with it. As I always say, I have many longtime friends who pursued fields because they were secure and comfortable. They’ve spent the ensuing years working for the weekends.
I never do.