Thursday, August 28, 2008

Journalism in Transition

Just as many of us will soon transition from the college classroom into the working journalistic world, the journalistic world is too, in a state of transition. While the transition provides for new learning processes, job opportunities, and the way to deliver information to the world, the change also blurs the line in the way in which a true journalist is defined. This gray area has prompted individuals to take up free-lance reporting, without a formal journalistic education, with a hope that they, too, can report today's news. For the young journalists of today, this acts as a double-edged sword, as they enter into a career path that seems to have no definitive destination.
On the one side of the argument, the internet, blogging, and mobile video devices, such as cameras and telephones, allow the everyday individual an opportunity to become a journalist at any given time. Reporting the news is very time sensitive, and in the case of a tourist with a camera, he or she potentially has the opportunity to capture a once in a life time moment that will have a significant influence on the world. With that being said, some individuals vividly seek that "wow" moment, in search of their claim to fame. But to what extent is their finding valid? Was it staged? Was it photoshopped to add a little extra? The answer is, you just don't know.

On the other side, traditional journalism does still exist. Credible sources like CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and Time Magazine still carry the bulk of the "truthful" news. The question rises in the case of a young journalist, is it worth the risk to begin your career in a free-lance manner, taking full advantage of the new technology entering the world of today, or do you persistently work up the ladder full of tenured professionals in the hopes of one day making it back to one of the major media outlets?
My best advice is to roll with the punches. Take advantage of all forms of journalism in media, while still in school. Create a solid base in which you can go many directions. Hopefully, the one fork in the road that you took a gamble on will lead you back on the path to your dream job. But that is the exciting part, and a roller coaster ride that many are eager to stand in line for, and i am one of them.

I am Josh Moser and a junior at the University of Southern California. I love going to the beach, staying active, and spending time with my friends. I believe in living in the moment and letting nothing pass you by.

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