When posed with the question, What do you want to do in journalism the only honest answer that I can give is that I don’t know.
I like to write. I’m good at it and I enjoy it, so it seemed natural that I base my career and the rest of my life on writing. But what do I want to do now that I’ve begun my Communications and Media Studies degree at the University of Wollongong…. I don’t know.
I like to read, so perhaps book reviewing is the path I should take. To become a book reviewer I would start by reviewing books here on my blog, then also on Goodreads where maybe I could gain some notice. Alternatively I would apply for internships and jobs at newspapers and online reviewing sites and work my way up into the position of a book reviewer… slowly, and not necessarily surely.
But do I want to taint my passion by forcing it into a profession? Will I lose the ability to simply sit down and enjoy a book because I must analyse every last word? Would I even enjoy being a book reviewer? Let alone would I be even able to make it into that field as the world of print literature dwindles every day?
These are the questions that needle at me in every journalism lecture I take. I know that I enjoy the subject, I love the work and the content, but how do I discover which path is mine?
I’d like to believe that I would serve the public in my writing, that I wouldn’t write for money or manipulation, but I don’t know the person I will be in a few years time, perhaps my values or beliefs will change. The only certainty is that I will change.
As of today I don’t believe I’ll ever be a political journalist, or a sports journalist, and I am still ambivalent about foreign correspondence, despite attempting a minor in Spanish. I think I would like to travel, but since I have never done it, I have no way of knowing if I would. An undefined columnist position or feature writer might fit, but once again I face the challenge of acquiring that position. I doubt I have the ability to walk into a newspaper agency and simply begin writing about whatever catches my fancy.
My other dream would be to not be a journalist, but a writer. This is why I chose Journalism and Professional Writing as my major, it seemed like a fair balance between the two careers I’ve narrowed down to. Yet to become a writer is even harder than any other job I’ve mentioned. Becoming a successful writing is dependent on skill, talent and creativity, but also luck, something I feel would be unwise to base my future around.
So what does that leave me with? This piece was supposed to be a manifesto detailing what I want to do in journalism, why I want to do it, how I want to do it and how I will achieve my goals, yet its become a meandering journey into my own uncertainty.
So what do I want to do in journalism?
I guess we’ll find out.