The end of a student journalist’s journey

As I look back at all my years of experience as a student journalist, I wonder if they were worth it. I came into Laurier Brantford excited to study journalism. I snatched every opportunity I could to experience what it was like to be a journalist. In a few weeks I will be able to call myself a journalism graduate, but will I be able to call myself a journalist?

The beginning of my first year at Laurier Brantford feels like it was last week. I was eager to volunteer for the Sputnik, and saw it as a golden opportunity. Three and a half years later I ended up with years of experience as an editor under my belt. I can look back and say that I accomplished a lot. I did everything I could to make sure that I actually felt like a journalist, but the truth is that I have only been a student journalist. The real industry of journalism is a different story and I am uncertain about what the next step is for me.

I can still recall some stories that I enjoyed covering, including one about Nipissing withdrawing its partnership Laurier, and one about an author called Arno Kopecky visiting Laurier Brantford for a Q&A session. Besides being an editor at a university campus, a lot of my classes have taught me a lot about the ethics of journalism and media. Even if I were to seek a career outside of journalism, I feel as though my degree has prepared me with a decent amount of transferable skills. However, something that I was unaware of before I was a student here at Laurier Brantford was the state of journalism. Print journalism has been declining quite a bit over the past few years. Jobs at newspapers have been disappearing. This has been quite discouraging for me because I major in print journalism, and I hope to one day become an editor at a publication. Due to the state of journalism I feel like the chances of anyone becoming an editor at any publication are quite slim. Nonetheless being a journalist is something I was and am still determined to be.

Laurier’s Brantford campus is smaller than most university campuses in Ontario, and this has an effect on the amount of students that show interest in events. This also has had an effect on the experiences I have had with interviewing students.I have covered a handful of events as an editor. I always make comparisons about what my experience would have been like in the United Kingdom or even the United States. Although it seems like my experience would have been better there really is no telling.  

Regardless of all the negatives I have enjoyed my time as a student journalist. I have enjoyed being an editor and speaking to different people around the campus. I have also enjoyed working with a team of people that are as passionate about quality journalism as I am.

I wonder how my experiences as a student journalist will prepare me for a career in journalism. Am I good enough? Are my qualifications up to par? We’ll just have to wait and see.

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