Monday, 24 September 2012

The scary world of journalism

The news that some very talented journalists were let go from the Winnipeg Free Press last week put a shock wave through the local media industry.

The layoffs have sparked great debates on Twitter about the future of journalism. A young first year CreComm student even had a piece published in the Winnipeg Free Press being dead honest that she does not read the newspaper. Her article set off a firestorm of both compliments and criticism on Twitter and comment boards.

First year Creative Communications student Stefanie Cutrona

We have been told many times not to worry and that journalism is alive and well. We have been told we will all have job offers when we graduate but despite all of this assurance, I'm pretty sure we all feel a little uneasy.  

I took a chance and came back to school later in life to study journalism. I did this despite having a house, mortgage, a wife, two year old daughter and mounting debt. If my life was a poker game than coming back to school was like "going all in." I also worked an unpaid internship this summer because I know that a portfolio is the only way to get noticed in this industry and I absolutely do not regret working for nothing for two months despite wondering some weeks if we could keep the electricity on or have food in the fridge.

But the more I look at the way that last year's journalism grads have been scooped up so quickly I see reason for optimism. Will I work at the Free Press anytime soon? Hell no. But it seems like everyday more and more communications based jobs are coming up and in many cases CreComm grads are grabbing those jobs.

I want the local journalism industry to thrive for many reasons. I like getting my news from credible sources before I get all the different angles from blogs and message boards. But I mostly want the journalism business to thrive locally for a far more selfish reason. When I'm done school I need a job.

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