The Information Age: Why A Degree In Journalism Is Still Useful

by Alexandra Strickler

Without fail, every time I attend one of my journalism classes in college, I am sure to leave the classroom having written down absolutely nothing at all in my notebook.

Yet, I always walk out with the confidence that I have learned something new, something valuable. How can that be possible?

The world of journalism may be a dying field (or, at least in my opinion, it’s simply just a changing one), but there is one thing I know for certain: You really can’t beat that kind of education.

Yes, it’s not like most classes, where you walk in with a giant PowerPoint presentation glaring back at you, and a lifeless professor drudging through a 50-minute lecture, expecting you to memorize every word in his presentation.

Any time I’ve attended one of my journalism classes, I am met with someone who genuinely cares about the subject matter and really, really wants me to absorb the information.

They’re the kind of professors who feel personally responsible if you walk out of the class a complete f*cking moron. They actually take it to heart.

"The Daily Show" recently did a segment called “Internet Killed the Newspaper Star,” in which they included a pretty hilarious, though nonetheless disheartening sound bite from former Gawker editor Neetzan Zimmerman.

Zimmerman says that college students should not bother to study journalism, as they will likely not get much out of that education. While I admit that this segment was pretty funny, I would have to say that Zimmerman’s statement is completely and utterly false.

An education in journalism is valuable in every sense of the word. Before I enrolled in these courses, I was an extremely uninformed citizen of the world, and I’m not proud at all of how ignorant I used to be.

An education in journalism literally requires you to know what is going on in the world, and if you ask me, I am so much more okay with that than reading 50-page textbook chapters on who-even-knows-what.

There’s a real sense of fulfillment that I get from turning on my Stitcher app instead of Pandora when I walk to class in the morning. I have an actual yearning now to be connected to the rest of the world in some way.

My journalism professors make it their mission to encourage and nurture that craving, and I could not be more thankful.

Being immersed in the field of journalism is not solely reserved for the writers, the broadcasters and the reporters of the world. Receiving that kind of education can literally benefit anybody in any field.

Name one field where your speaking skills are not relevant to your job. Name one field where your knowledge of current events will not help you at your job.

Name one field in which learning how to effectively absorb and dissect information from the raw feed that is the universe, is not a valuable skill.

This is exactly why I will never believe that journalism is a dying field. It can’t be; it's too necessary of a component of our world. To say journalism is dying is to say that the world doesn’t care about news.

While my generation may be concerned with different kinds of news, that interest is still there. Everyone wants to know what is going on, anywhere, at all times.

Why else are we on our phones 24/7 to check Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest?

We need information. We crave it. We just need to be led in the right direction, to absorb the right information.

Photo Courtesy: Netflix/House of Cards