College Life: Why I am Studying Journalism

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Katherine Daniel ~ Editor-in-Chief

I never really decided that I wanted to study journalism until my senior year. As a little girl, I always wanted to be a veterinarian because I loved animals. Then, as I got into middle school and was going to play softball in college, I thought about studying marine biology because I love the ocean and the sea creatures. I changed my mind again in ninth grade and wanted to study speech pathology. By this time, I was still debating if I was going to play softball in college and if I was going to study speech pathology, since there was only a few colleges that offered it. By the summer of my senior year, I was trying to decide what I exactly wanted to major in, depending on what school I went to. Well, once I decided on the University of Lynchburg, I decided to do Communications and in the emphasis in Convergent Journalism. I decided that I wanted to be a news anchor on a news channel.

The only problem is, once I am questioned about what my major is, people give me the response, “Newspapers are dying, why would you want to study that?” Believe me, the one thing that pisses me off the most is when people say this. Yes, news is starting to be mostly media passed, but newspapers are still going. Trust me, I work for a school newspaper, and there are definitely newspapers still working and going strong.

I have always worried about my choice for my major, but then I remind myself of all the little things that the Communication department has to offer me here at the University of Lynchburg and I am proud to be studying it.

A lot of people say that journalism and newspapers are dying, but to be quite honest, it is more alive than people think. A lot of us journalist get a bad rep for reporting ‘fake news’ and this and that. There are some journalists out there that do not follow protocol, but there are other journalist that are not bad. There is always going to be some type of news and there is always people that need to tell this news to the world. Journalist just have to figure out how to tell news in an unbiased way and that your facts are completely accurate. Maybe you don’t like the physical newspapers, but without them in the first place, journalism would never be where it is today in society. It is evolving more and more every day, which is why I love it so much.

There is a certain feeling I get when I receive a story. Coming into college, I was shy and nervous to talk to people. Something about my degree and being a part of the newspaper here at the University of Lynchburg has made me more outgoing and ready to interview anyone (even though I am a little nervous) and tackle a story. Journalism has shown me that I cannot just sit back and let people’s stories go unheard. There are so many stories that no one has told that need to be heard. Some story topics are new and fresh, heartwarming, impactful, and scary. Being a journalist, you have to take risks and do some digging and find the information for a story that you want to cover.

Yes, being the editor-in-chief is time consuming and you have other tasks other than writing for the paper that people do not see, but I would never change it for the world. I am in this job for the passion and satisfaction I get every time I see my byline on my school newspaper in print and online. Just to see your stories that you worked so hard on in print on a page, is incredible. Those are your own words, your own story you covered, and your time and dedication. It might have been your fifth soda or cup of coffee and the passion that go you through writing some stories, but I feel great after writing it and relieved.

Even though I spend a lot of in the newsroom and maybe have a slight caffeine addiction, journalism has given me the opportunity to talk to people on a one-on-one basis that I would have never talked to if it was not for my degree or the Critograph. For example, I had an hour-long interview where President Garren and I talked about his retirement and his life. I was able to get to know him on a personal level and I have a picture with him. I will definitely cherish that moment. I have encountered many people throughout different majors, students I may have talked to about certain issues, people in the community (I love community event stories), and complete strangers, you name it. I have branched out and met wonderful people while being a part of the Communications: Convergent Journalism program here at the University of Lynchburg and the Critograph.

So, if anyone bashes you about your communications degree and they ask you, “What are you going to do with that?” You tell them, “You need communication in every job that you do, right?” or if it is about journalism, “You need news to let people know what is going on in the world, right?” My case closed.