Encouraging Journalistic Pursuits


Journalism is not dying, contrary to what some people may say. (Courtesy of Flickr)

The notion that journalism is a dying industry was a lie often fed to me, I then perpetuated the same lie. I was convinced that the industry was a lost cause. After all, who my age could I picture that would purchase a newspaper subscription in the future? Technology was advancing rapidly, and there was no feasible way to imagine journalism could survive.

I listened throughout high school as STEM was heavily promoted to students. Science and business majors were seen as safe and secure options, and the students who followed these paths were revered for making smart decisions. There are plenty of advertisements running every day that encourage young people, especially young women, to pursue careers in STEM. An article in The Economist states that one of the biggest problems with the job market today is that “not enough talented women move into technology.” I had one teacher tell my class that unless we were going to college for STEM, there wasn’t really any point. Of course, he saw the fiscal benefits. Since then, I’ve read a multitude of articles explaining college as an investment and mathematically laying out evidence that devalues college for liberal arts majors. 

Therefore, it should not come as a shock that I am a business administration major. It was the safe route. I did not have to worry about the practicality of my choice or defending it to those who questioned me. However, what I didn’t expect was the pushback from close friends and family. Those who really, truly knew me were surprised. They asked me why I wasn’t doing anything with writing. My answer: “Journalism is a dying industry.”

At the time, I was honestly annoyed. I had chosen a major that I believed would help me support myself, and I had expected that others would approve of it. I would be lying if I said I didn’t notice the favorable reactions from strangers. However, my family and friends had just known sooner than I had that I was, in a way, taking the easy way out. This is not to say that business is an easy major or a simple path to go down, but I had chosen it because it was the easiest to envision tangible prospects after college. 

It may have taken me a little longer, but eventually, I realized that the safe choice is not always the best choice. Of course, my time at Fordham delayed that realization a bit. As I’m sure it is at so many other colleges, there is a certain perception that comes with being a business major. I can guarantee that most students hear the phrase “Are you Gabelli?” repeatedly throughout their time here, referring to the Gabelli School of Business. There are plenty of programs that attempt to solidify business students in their choices, such as mandatory presentations or panels that Gabelli students have to attend. A swarm of students dressed in dreaded business casual will flood the campus, descending on the Fordham Prep auditorium for yet another presentation. There are also mandatory business classes per year, one-credit courses that are supposed to help business students explore their interests.

One of the classes I am taking this year is called Career Exploration, and it does exactly what it claims to do: helps students explore their career options. These opportunities are wonderful and can be extremely helpful for business majors. However, it does make me wonder why these same opportunities don’t seem to exist for all other majors. Frankly, I cannot speak too much on this issue, seeing as I’m not a liberal arts major at the moment, but one thing I can say is that I don’t see why “career exploration” should be limited to Gabelli kids. All students are perplexed about the future, and this process of resume-building would prove extremely beneficial to all. I don’t see why networking and professionalism are not as encouraged in other majors. Dressing up and learning how to interview or network are skills that are needed for almost every job out there, not just those in business.

Nonetheless, my point remains that the broader issue lies in the inherent attitudes towards liberal arts majors. For so long, I believed that business and STEM were, in a way, better. Society told me they were reliable, solid and seemingly unquestionable. Fortunately, liberal arts degrees can provide this reliability and stability, as well. That is why I am here to tell you that journalism is not a dying industry. Journalism is simply a changing industry. Sure, there are not nearly as many people reading paper copies of newspapers anymore because of the advancements in technology. This doesn’t mean that technology is killing journalism; it is just changing it. I receive a briefing from The New York Times on my phone every morning. Each day, millions of people sit at home and watch the news on their television. 

Of course, I like to believe that some things won’t change too much. I still enjoy the feeling of opening a fresh print copy of a newspaper. I can see a stack of The Fordham Ram on my desk as I type this. Nonetheless, my point is that even if it does change, it is not the end of the world. Journalism is a way of informing the people and of doing everything in your power to spread truth. People need the news, and for that reason, journalism will never die.

Taylor Herzlich, GSB ’23, is a business administration major from Mt. Sinai, N.Y.