As a senior preparing to enter the unknown, and yes scary, world of the work force in just a few short months from now, I can say that my level of uncertainty has become higher and higher as the weeks pass me by. This uncertainty does not exist because of my fear that after four years of preparing for the “real world” that I won’t get a job, rather, my fear lies completely in the fact that I am about to enter the world of journalism. I think that it’s safe to say that the creation of the Internet has completely changed how we distribute and receive our news. It seems that every day, the number of people who actually subscribe to the print edition of a newspaper or a magazine becomes increasingly small. In place of paying to receive these editions, one can simply hop onto the Internet and view any issue they please; just the other day my mom told me that she cancelled the subscription to our local newspaper because she didn’t think we should be paying the amount of money we were paying when she could just as easily read it online.
Call me old fashioned, but I’m still one of those people that loves the feel of the crisp pages of a freshly printed newspaper. I enjoy physically holding the paper in my hands and navigating my way from section to section–a motion that has now been replaced by the simple click of a mouse. In a way, we have become lazy readers. So what does this have to do with my future? Well, in a word, everything. As fewer people subscribe to print publications, job availability has dramatically decreased.
This past February the New York Times cut over 100 newsroom jobs, and in early September, 550 full-time union jobs. These are scary times. Also, with the creation of what is now considered multi-media journalism, the skills that a prospective journalist will need to possess have dramatically changed; future employers will not only be looking at how well I can write, but they will also be looking to see if I know how to shoot video footage, put together a news package, or edit using programs such as Final Cut Pro. I’m currently taking a web writing class and what I have really taken from this class is that we’re going to need these skills if we want to keep a competitive edge over other applicants when applying for jobs.
With technology continuously changing I fear for the future. There is an unsettling shift in the journalism of today, and what it could be just five years from now. So as the time rapidly approaches that I have to clean up my résumé and send if off to prospective employers, I fear that there won’t be a job out there for me. Even further, I fear that if in fact there is a job, my name will never actually appear in print.