You’d think that having spent the last two years of my life studying Journalism, I’d be set on my way towards the industry. But umm, yeah about that…things didn’t quite work out that way.
In my college experience post, I discussed how I never actually wanted to study journalism – my life just took a detour that I wasn’t OK with. Granted, I wasn’t entirely *against* journalism to begin with, otherwise I wouldn’t have gone down that path in the first place. But it didn’t take me long to realise that actually, I really, really don’t want to work in journalism.
And so we have another ramble of a post, in which I try to explain my reasons why.
Honestly, it’s surprising I even managed the course in the first place. I’m REALLY not the sort of person who finds it easy to go up and randomly talk to someone, and considering that’s basically the premise of an interview – a key thing needed in journalism – there’s our first problem.
There’s not all that much I’d enjoy about doing actual journalism work. Researching is more than fine, I love that. But carrying out interviews? No thank you. I’m not a huge fan of writing, especially when there’s so many rules to consider. Especially when I have zero interest in what I’m writing. Photography and filmmaking I’m fine with, but only as a laidback hobby. And the technical side of things? …that’s just a straight up NOPE.
While studying I didn’t find it so bad, especially so in the second year because I had managed to base my project on books, and so it wasn’t so different to what I usually do in my spare time. But interest makes all the difference, and I know that would very rarely be there if working for a company and just being told what to create content for.
Contributing To Media-Set Stereotypes
And here’s where the rest of this post basically becomes a ranty mess of morals.
Studying journalism meant we had a LOT of stereotyping. We had to analyse magazines, explain how certain language/colours/designs were used to appeal to certain audiences. Everything was about subconsciously influencing people, making sure women looked the “right size”, while men needed to look like chiseled gods.
Even outside of studying magazines, it’s obviously shown in general news media too. This all being around the time when disasters were happening all over the world – bomb attacks in different places, etc etc. It hardly takes a genius to notice the bias in English media. The news headlines – every single time – pointing out when the attacker was possibly Muslim and deeming them a terrorist, but making them out to be a poor mentally unstable victim when they’re a white man.
I specifically remember one day in class, someone bringing this kind of thing up with the tutor. Were we being trained to write this way? Why did we have to tailor our language to be more chatty/silly/lighthearted just because the audience may be mostly women? How can people become more open-minded about race (and similar topics) when the newspapers keep it going, just with a few well placed words into people’s subconscious?
Her response – in trying to keep us motivated – was something along the lines of “it can only change if YOU change it. You’re the next generation going into those jobs.”
Which is true. So very true.
But you see, I don’t think we’re there yet. Call me a pessimist, but I’m pretty sure if I worked for a journalistic company, and refused to mention something they told me to write about – an attackers religion, or about how women can lose weight quicker, or ANYTHING along those lines, just because I don’t agree with it…I’d get sacked. Simple as that. You see miraculous stories where people are actually listened to, but they’re nowhere near as common as they ought to be. And I think there’s a while to go yet.
The Intrusive Journalist
Then we get to something that makes me seethe with rage every single time I see it done.
Journalists intruding on situations that would be better left alone.
I KNOW they’re there to collect news. I KNOW that’s their entire purpose. But so so often, I see journalists absolutely crowding people who are victims of some horrid story, relentlessly digging and pestering. I see them whipping out cameras to film events rather than trying to help the people obviously in distress. Or if not the sort of journalist to attend events, I see the sort who carelessly write and publish content that could potentially cause so much damage to the people mentioned.
I just don’t understand how people can do it.
It’s Not All Bad, I Know
I’ve absolutely slated on journalism here, but I know it’s not all bad. There are plenty of journalists who are out there doing amazing work. There are plenty of people standing against those crappy stereotypes.
But I am not that person.
More often than not, English journalism makes me rage in one way or the other, and I just…don’t want to be part of that.
So there’s that awful long babble!
If you have anything to comment, please do leave them down below. It’ll be interesting to hear your thoughts!
Until next time…
Come and visit me!