Or so they all told me. Beyond my childhood fantasies of driving a blaring fire truck across town and rounding up criminals as a police man, all I have ever wanted to do is become a journalist. Everyone has something they are passionate about, and for me the prospect of being able to delve into and express to others the happenings of society is what drives me to be successful. However, despite my fixation on the life of a journo, I have been given constant warnings from the people who I have encountered in my final years of high school.
“Don’t become a journalist, there are so many better alternatives”
“Pick a new career, the newspaper is on its last legs”
I have become very familiar with these notions over the last 12 months. I had been confronted by them so often that I had begun to heed the warnings of my peers. I started to consider my options. After an agonising period of decision making towards the end of my senior year, Year 12, I decided to take the plunge, and I committed to chasing a spot at RMIT to study a Bachelor of Journalism. Thankfully, my choice was justified and I secured a place. Though proud, the naysayers still assured me – journalism was dead.
My first tutorial at RMIT filled me with equal portions of excitement and anxiety. Within 5 minutes my tutor, unbeknownst to the internal debate which had tempered my enthusiasm with a degree of caution coined the phrase “journalism is not dead, it’s changing”. I was struck instantly by this. My initial thoughts were uninspired; that the point raised was valid, that journalism is indeed focusing heavily on social media these days as opposed to the traditions of print. This assessment was followed by my recollection of the idea which had been thrown at me so frequently in the past; “is the newspaper, and journalism itself, going to survive”?
It was at this point that I looked around the room. In my company were a bevy of prospective journalists, young and ambitious like myself, committed to climbing the mountain and reaching the summit. I previously saw myself as a figure belonging to the minority with a passion for detailing the ubiquitous intrigue of society, but suddenly I was accompanied by a group of like-minded people. In the face of doubt, they too defied the notion that journalism was dead.
I then realised it was alive. It was. That the social media revolution had not killed journalism, it had merely forced it to adapt. Regardless of the method in which the ever-present nuances of our world are communicated, something that will never die is humanity’s need to be informed; about itself, its past, its present and its future. This, in tandem with people like myself and my colleagues who live to see the world, breathe the world and speak the world, will ensure that journalism will never cease to be relevant in society. I now understand that journalism can and will endure any obstacle presented to it.
And that was week 1 of my university journey. In this brief time, I have already been gifted with something that cannot be taught in any high school, lecture hall or classroom – faith. I now have faith in myself, in my choice of career, in the people who shape my industry, and the idealistic properties which allow it to prosper. The metamorphosis of journalism is a dynamic property, and though I’m a rookie in relative terms, I look forward to the challenge of improving myself as the industry advances. Journalism is alive everyone, believe me.