In the current age, it is easy to write off journalism, and subsequently related majors such as public relations, communications, and many more, as useless.
The world of journalism is undoubtedly changing, and there is no denying that fact. Print publications are becoming few and far between. Even where these publications are found, most times it is rarely read in hard copy.
According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2017, 43 percent of Americans get their news via online publications, which was just 7 percent behind television. The study also indicates that less than 20 percent of Americans get their news via print publications.
This is more an indicator of a growing shift in the industry, however, rather than of a dying breed of jobs. As the millennium turned, the digital shift happened drastically and quicker than anyone could have anticipated.
Subsequently, news outlets had to adapt, and they often times put content online for free. Now, this has become an issue, as people expect on a daily basis to receive free content online. A lack of foresight by industry professionals has led to the downfall of its own kind.
It is not the end of the road for journalism, though. Instead of writing it off as a useless major or profession, it is up to those within the business to change the perception. Many sites, including the revolutionary sports app and website The Athletic, now employ paywalls charging readers for its content. The Washington Post does it, too. It is the start of a slow switch to sustainability, even in the smallest of steps, that can help re-solidify journalism as a viable college major for all.
In my experience, I almost switched majors in my sophomore year because of this concept. Rather than facing the industry’s problems head on, I elected to try and take the easier route and get out of the headlights altogether.
At Seton Hall, this is especially easy. The school places a large emphasis on business and science majors, despite the recent addition of the College of Communication and the Arts. When students ask one another what major they are, it is easy for someone to scoff at a journalism major and his or her choice in career paths.
That is where the stigma lies, however, and where it must be stopped. Rather than pitting the major as a death sentence in terms of career paths, it is time to focus on the re-adaptation of journalism to a new front of media.
However simple and quick it may be to write off writing, it is still an inherent part of our culture and must be treated as such so that the future of news and reporting can continue through the generations.
Kevin Kopf is a junior journalism major from Long Island, N.Y. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.