Where I'm Going

Stack of Newspapers

One year ago, I was an English major in her final semester at the University of Florida and I was freaking out. The economy was tanking, thousands of people were losing their jobs every day and in several months I was expected to join the ranks, to find a steady job and begin my tenure in what blissful college students commonly refer to as the real world. Having done my research, it had occurred to me months ago that the profession I had planned on joining,the one that I loved, that of print journalism, was not hiring. Not only was it not hiring, it was firing at a rapid pace. I made the decision to forego the real world for a little longer, to pursue a graduate degree in Journalism, hoping that when I came out on the other side I and the economy would both be better prepared. I soon found out I was not alone in making that decision.

In April, a Forbes.com article offered a startling and somewhat humorous statistic: Despite the fact that an estimated 7,500 newspaper journalists have lost their jobs this year alone, journalism schools all over the country are reporting steep increases in enrollment as soon-to-be-graduates like myself sought refuge in graduate programs while the economy tanked. We have no way of knowing whether or not traditional newspapers will remain a viable news source in an increasingly digitized society, as well as a realistic future profession for the thousands of us banking on a career in the field when the economy turns around.

I love newspapers. I love the smell and feel of them. I love Writing for them, reading them, doing the crossword puzzles inside them. But loving something doesn't guarantee it will stick around, and I know that I have to be prepared to apply the skills I've learned in graduate school to new developments in the world of news; be it as a freelance writer, or a blogger for a major publication like Whitney Matheson from USA Today, or even writing for an online-only magazine like Slate. Whatever the future of news is, I know I'll be ready.