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Commentary: Journalism is still alive

Carly Hill, Arts Editor

People tell me all the time that journalism is dead. That there is no possible way to make it in a digital world with a print background. And you know what I have to say to that? Well, most of the time it involves a lot of yelling, perhaps some crying and a few curse words strung in for added effect.

Which brings me to last weekend, when I added another weapon to my arsenal against haters of good writing.

As a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, I had the opportunity to attend the national conference in Las Vegas, Nev. SPJ is a national alliance of journalists in different media who come together to uphold the traditional ways of journalism while advancing with today’s media.

Nervous and excited, I went on the trip, hoping to learn a thing or two about my profession, and whether or not wanting to write and be published was really something that could make me money, or if I would be living under a bridge with a sign saying, “Will write for food.”

At the conference, I went to conferences where a freelancer told eager listeners about making six figures without being on salary. Or, a conference about why I need to have social media to succeed. Which made me feel better, because during the conference I was on my Blackberry surfing Facebook and Twitter anyway.

One of the most interesting parts of my trip was when we got to visit the Las Vegas Sun, where they are utilizing media and the Internet to gain access to the millions of web surfers and haters of paper newspapers.

I learned that although it may be important to know how to do things like podcasts, radio time and broadcasts, the truth is that it is more important to be a great writer.

You may look really cool with all of your expertise in different media, but if you can not write with proper grammar and hold a reader for more than five minutes, then good luck getting hired anywhere.

The conference completely rejuvenated my love for the art of written word, and although I may diversify and take a radio class, I am still going to work on my writing and make the best of a talent that some say is out of style.

Because in my opinion, a good story is something hard to come by. And if anyone else tries to tell me that journalism is dead, I will kick them where it hurts.

Carly Hill, a junior journalism major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at carly.hill@laverne.edu.

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