It is rare you hear about university students who have followed through their course without doubts or changes to their initial career plans.
The future is as bold and as intriguing as the white pages we fill every morning with each action we take as individuals to make this same path, an unique one.
Laughs and jokes aside, the life of a journalist is a lot more than just fun entertainment for target audiences. It consists of time consuming research, crossing just enough boundaries between privacy and consent and a reliable informative story.
Sitting before me are four first year Wollongong University students who have different ideas of what it means to be a journalist.
‘Meeting people, hearing stories, sharing their stories around the world, trying to understand why they are where they are’ – Monika, 19.
‘The most important thing is to expose what is hidden from people. Any information is easily given out but its the information you can’t get access to that people want to know’– Lachlan, 19.
‘A creative outlet to talk about what your passionate about, if you have a certain area of journalism if you are into you can also combine it with other diversities such as photography to create a beautiful story ‘ – Steph, 20.
‘I thought it meant I would travel, discover and come across things I didn’t even known existed, but its been sad to find out that maybe being a journalist isn’t everything that I hoped for after all’ – Lucy, 22.
Chatting amount themselves, Monika, Lachlan, Steph and Lucy discussed how broad their futures are and just how many opportunities they have before them.
‘In five years time, I’d like not to have to work at all’, jokes Lachlan. He inspires to be a war reporter for magazines, writing articles about history changing the future. He raises a point that this could be one of the more difficult careers to get into as we are controlled by the government and waiting on clearance to a create story. ‘There’s a lot more rules now, there’s so much more coverage of Vietnam war due to lack of rules, regulations and maybe less professionalism, but more truth’.
‘I feel the opposite’, says Steph, who is a stronger believer in blogs and tweets. ‘Anyone can write about anything they like, its making it credible and interesting that is the trick’, – ‘Yes, and you can do that by adding things that you see that others might not, like capturing the sad glare of a mother who looks upon her child, knowing she can’t afford what her daughter wants, things like that make a story’ –adds Monika.
‘It is all very deep, words hurt more than weapons and therefore there is a huge responsibility on us as journalists as to what we bring to the table, that’s why I don’t think this for me. I’d like to be living overseas in five years time Owning my own island and running my scuba diving business, these blogs and things wouldn’t be something i want to do for a living.’ Says Lucy.
In a world where everything has been invented, said, or thought about before, it is hard to chase originality, but that’s the gift of journalism, creating something beautiful out of empty pages.