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Journalism: An industry and a Craft By John Joyce

The path to professional journalism, for many, begins in the college newsroom. Dreams of one day obtaining a New York Times byline or a slot at a cable news outlet fly high, only to come crashing down falling short of their target like story ideas littering the floor around a waste paper basket.      

Some lack talent. Some lack drive. Many still have unreasonable expectations based on the increasingly indistinguishable line between journalism as an industry and as a craft.  

We are the generation that will decide whether the printed newspaper will fade into history to be replaced by on-line news outlets and bloggers. Journalism and communication students are today faced with an industry based on television ratings and web-based advertising dollars rather than the sale of printed newspapers and magazines.

Holdovers from the hard-nosed, cigar-chomping newsmen and pantsuit and notepad-wielding newswomen era fear the decline of the craft as much as their editors do the diminishing dollars in the print industry.     For students not to be swept away by the sound bite and Titter feed forays that pass as news in the digital age, professors and professionals alike are emphasizing the need for both education in and dedication to the long-standing and ever-evolving craft of journalism.

Imagine a world where news is delivered at 4G (or soon to be faster) speeds and yet is accurate and unbiased, regardless of CNN and Fox News’ best attempts.     Young journalists are working in cities and small towns, in print and on-line, nationally and internationally. As these future industry leaders break stories and trend up-to-the-minute information on Facebook, they also set the stage for a shift back to the days of well-crafted story telling and objective community service. While its up to the readers to decide when and where they receiver their news, the decision to deliver it to them quickly and accurately continues to drive the inquisitive and energetic generation waiting to be passed the proverbial torch of journalistic integrity.


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