Journalism: Do You Have What it Takes?
"I want to be a journalism major," the new graduate explained.
My muscles tightened. All I could think was... are you sure?
Journalism seems to be an obvious choice if you can write. Here's the deal though. It takes courage to be a journalist.
This past weekend I spent time with the writer of this controversial post, and she reminded me that she almost never chooses her own titles/subtitles. It takes a thick skin to let someone else pitch your articles through their version of the angle. Would you have what it takes?
In the case of this particular article, the title probably caused as much stir as the article itself. But the writer accepts her publisher's choices, even if it means eventual heat for her. She also occasionally accepts edits she doesn't necessarily agree with. It's par for the course. You cannot be a journalist without accepting these rules of the game. Would you have what it takes?
As a journalist, you can't just write your own opinion on things; you need to be part of a larger conversation. I marveled that the writer of this particular article opened a new side of the conversation... one she knew was less popular... because she understands her position in the journalistic world. But it takes guts to do that. In her case, if you read the comments, you'll even see what feels suspiciously like a death threat. Would you have what it takes?
I don't. But I deeply respect the people who do.
Speaking of journalists, I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Galli this weekend. And now I know what he likes to drink. (And he knows what my kids and I like to eat for dessert.) Oh yeah, and my Little One liked his talk on Liturgy.
"Sara Alone", "Mark Galli", and "Dublin House" photos, by L.L. Barkat.