Charms and challenges of journalism
Journalism is by far the most challenging profession. It can be distinguished from other activities and products by certain identifiable characteristics and practices. Journalists have no permanent friends and foes in performing their duties. Journalism carries risks and yet commands respect in performing their duties through maintaining professional objectivity.
Even though journalism poses a lot of challenges and hindrances, a lot of us nowadays prefer journalism as a respectable career.
Although 'journalism' is a general term, it refers to many broad categories of jobs. In short, journalism is literature in a hurry. Journalism is the act of gathering, assessing, creating and presenting news and information. It is also the product of these activities.
Journalism is a career for the curious. Every day you can invent new ideas and topics occurring around activities in your community. You can learn something new every day as a journalist. That makes life very interesting.
The regular life of a journalist can be exciting and challenging. Every day you have to cover local news; you always have to be right where the action is happening actually! You have to submit your story before the deadline passes.
Journalism tends to attract intelligent and hardworking people who care a lot about what they do. Given that the career isn't as lucrative as other jobs, but requires similar skills, journalism is a profession for the passionate. The benefits come from the internal rewards of the career rather than from the pay cheque, so there are many people working in the industry because they love it.
Interviewing a wide range of people with diverse backgrounds is a huge opportunity in the life of a journalist. You're constantly exposed to new characters and you get to hear their stories, of their research and opinions. It is a great career for social spirits.
Nobody knows the community better than the local journalist. A journalist's job is to know how to get the most accurate news as early as possible. It makes you more connected to your community.
Journalism offers lots of flexibility to people looking to pursuing careers that are business-oriented in the years to come. Actually, most journalism majors go ahead into various fields like freelance reporting, marketing and public relations. For this reason, it is regarded as a very flexible profession.
Journalism mainly involves reporting different kinds of news in different areas of the world; it offers an important chance of travelling in the interest of news gathering. In certain circumstances, journalists are required to relocate to another country to be capable of coming up with first hand data on the events relating to that specific nation. Journalism is therefore a great career choice for people who enjoy travelling and meeting new people. It is also an opportunity to mix with different types of people.
When you make your career as a journalist, you get a press pass id. Then you can use it to enter any venue or have access to any special places. Many celebrities, businessman and politicians consider journalism a convenient way of publicity for themselves.
In his career, a journalist faces a huge number of challenges. If you become a good journalist you have to write by leaping across these hindrances.
If journalists were actually paid by the hour, it would be very much challenging. Journalists are expected to stay in a long time for making a story more attractive and credible to readers.
Journalists are constantly 'under a deadline.' When stories happen, news outlets are motivated to be the first ones on the scene, the first ones to report the story, the first ones to get that key interview and puts tremendous pressure on the entire news team to deliver effective, non-biased, truthful reports quickly. So, journalism is a profession of stress.
Journalists cover life-threatening events such as forest fires, wars and hurricanes. Covering natural disasters sometimes involves health risks, such as wading through toxic materials. Note that journalists covering drug trafficking scams continuously receive death threats, leading to murders that the authorities are often incapable of solving.
Technological advancements in news coverage involve using devices such as mobile phones. This can be a challenge to journalists.
Journalism involves working under pressure to deliver professional write-ups on matters affecting society. This can be difficult, given the level of competition in the field, because journalists aspire to come up with the best-selling story without compromising journalistic ethics. People with useful information on stories such as public scams may demand payment from journalists or media houses for them to disclose the story. This can be challenging for journalists working for media houses that are not able pay for the information. Some media houses may refuse to make such payments on ethical grounds.
There are not only charms but also some challenges in one's building up a career in journalism. Even though there are huge risks and hindrances, you have to write. That is what makes you a bold and courageous journalist. It is the real calling of a journalist.
Sunzida Shetu is a young journalist and freelance writer