It’s always great to be validated.Not so great though, when what’s being validated is the total worthlessness of the college degree you slaved to get, and the career it inspired.
The Daily Beast, a news and opinion blog owned in part by Newsweek, reported recently that a survey based on data from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics and Payscale.com ranks Journalism as the #1 most useless college degree.
That’s based on factors such as a starting wage of about $35,000; a mid-career wage of about $66,000; and the expectation that there will be 6.62% fewer US Journalism jobs in 2018 than there were in 2008. The Daily Beast
For those of us who actually got a journalism degree; this comes as no surprise. I learned a long time ago there’s no money in it, and you keep getting laid off.
Still though, when you love to write; the desire to keep plugging away and hoping for the best is strong.
But what is a professional journalist these days? Is it just someone who gets paid to write, or is it someone who has a degree, a sense of ethics, and a commitment to accuracy and integrity?
Of course, you don’t need a journalism degree to write a story with accuracy and integrity, and there are plenty of unethical people in the news media with journalism degrees.
But, because I actually do have a degree, and because I actually have spent many years as a professional journalist; I believe I at least have some degree of insight into the situation–and the situation is grim.
These days, the lines between serious journalism and Joe Beer Can’s fishing blog are pretty blurred. Journalistic ethics is probably considered by most people to be an oxymoron, and what we used to call yellow journalism is what passes for real journalism today.
But I refuse to believe that real journalism no longer exists. In fact, I know it does. But it is in short supply, people—very short supply.
Somebody in some big corporate office somewhere needs to recognize that there is a serious need for actual, honest-to-God news reporting that doesn’t pander to the lowest common denominator, and tells the freaking truth.
Of course, that somebody somewhere will probably notice that real news written by real reporters costs real money. Then they’ll lay off more reporters, play some golf, and collect a fat bonus.