Sunday, September 5, 2010

What is journalism...

When I entered into CreComm, my ambition was to be a "print journalist." (Yeah, I even put that term on the portfolio/application that I submitted. -- when I was asked Journalism instructor, Duncan McMonagle, to explain what I meant by "print journalist" during my entrance interview, I said I wanted to write for a newspaper. Only a newspaper.


Flash forward to a year (and a bit) later, a couple of industry internships under my belt, and some intense journalism classes endured at Red River College, and I am not sure that I even want to embark on a career in the "print journalism" industry. (Number one reason is probably because there is actually no such thing as a "print journalism industry." But fundamentals aside, I have also come to realize that I don't think I want to be just a 'regular journalist' either. -- A columnist, maybe...)

You see, I have come to realize that when I dreamed of being a journalist I actually had no stinkin' idea what this job entailed. In fact, it wasn't until I was well into my first year of CreComm that I realized how different this job was from the job I made up in my head.

Truth be told, I assumed that it was what I wanted to do because I liked writing and watching the news. I was wrong. (Journalism -- even non-existant "print journalism" has very little to do with creative writing...)

This leads me to the questions: What is journalism:

Well, friends, the profession of journalism is one that sees a group of people -- reporters, editors, photographers, etc. -- come up with news stories, write the news stories, and package it all up in a neat little parcel (in the form of a newspaper, TV, radio, blog, etc...) And present it to the public for consumption.

(Note: Before I continue, I should clarify that when I say that: "Come up with news stories" I mean that these news outlets have means to information that regular joe's like you and I don't. -- They have access to police scanners, and news/press releases. They are invited to press conferences and have credibility when speaking to the public... "Hi, I'm Shelley Cook, a reporter with the Winnipeg Free Press..." That never got old when I used to say that!!)

Some people have a knack for journalism; the to-the-point writing style with little to no inputed opinion about the story; the tight deadlines; the uncertainty about what the day will bring. I would almost venture to say that journalism is a lifestyle for the reporters, editors and other media folks, who are impassioned about their careers and the "news" that goes on around them.

This, however, is not me.

I love to write, share my opinion and I really love to use adjectives. (This, my friends, is not journalism. Or, so I have been told.)

Cartoon: Courtesy of Natalie Dee (


  1. Oh I just realized I used the same picture as you. Oh well, I really like Natalie Dee