Is journalism a dying field? Several universities across the country seem to think so. A recent New York Times article reported a decline in applications to journalism fellowship programs from American journalists, although the foreign applications are continuing to pour in. While 101 Americans applied to the John S. Knight Fellowship Program at Stanford in 2006, only 83 applied this year.
It is speculated that journalists are afraid to participate in these study programs because they might lose their job. Alex Jones, director of a research center at Harvard, said, “Journalists are afraid for their jobs. They are afraid that if the newspaper can go on without them for a year, their job might be in jeopardy.” Meanwhile, Boyce Rensberger, head of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowship at M.I.T., said, “I feel a little queasy encouraging young people into journalism. It’s such a precarious industry right now.” Print media is certainly well past its prime. These days, avid readers of publications such as the New York Times or Chicago Tribune are turning to the Internet for news. The Internet delivers the news faster and at no charge, and more people rely on logging onto the publication’s website than buying it at the newsstand.
With technology advancing so much, it makes sense that journalists are afraid of losing their jobs because the medium is becoming obsolete. However, with a journalism program like the one at St. John’s, there is little need for students to worry about their future. First, St. John’s University has a strong reputation across the country. Aside from being one of the largest Catholic universities in the United States, classes are taught by outstanding professors, many of whom are in the business themselves and give tips and pointers to their students so they may succeed. Secondly, the journalism program offers courses in each medium of communications so that a specialization in print media is not your only option. Public relations, magazines and broadcast news are all possibilities with a journalism degree.
Finally, the internship program at St. John’s offers experience that only a school a stone’s throw away from Manhattan could offer. With the city nearby, access to the most prestigious jobs are possible and the experience will be absolutely invaluable and vital to anybody’s resume.
If print media is still your dream job, it is still possible to work in the industry. Not everybody uses the Internet, and some parts of the United States never can have it. These people have no choice but to buy the newspaper. Still, computer knowledge is an absolute must for this business now. As long as students continue to hone their computer skills and become proficient in editing and the Internet, you can still get jobs as journalists and publish on the Web. As an added bonus, computer proficiency can mke applicants much more valuable than the next person who is only knowledgeable in print media. No matter what path is taken, there is no need to worry about the future with a St. John’s education. As long as the passion is there, students can still go far with a journalism degree.