Everyone’s A Journalist, and We Need You

In my introduction column I wrote a lifetime ago back in August, I said that anyone could be a journalist.

I still mean that, a year later. This year, I’ve seen non-journalism majors excel in their jobs, to pursue the truth without fear or favor, to be journalists.

The Charger Bulletin has an incredible team of sub-editors, not all of whom are studying journalism, but all of whom have stepped up to the plate this year and played their part in making this publication everything it can be. I could not have done my job without them.

Someone I’ve always looked up to once told me that journalism is like an island of misfit toys. We’re an island of misfit toys because the only thing uniting us is a feeling, something in our gut telling us this is where we need to be. You don’t need to be a journalist; you just need to feel alive when most people would feel anything but.

We come in, every other Monday, with our eyes groggy and clothing mismatched, surviving on nothing but chocolate and caffeine, to put out a paper. We stay late nights and wake up early because we have a passion for telling the truth that keeps us fighting with a vengeance.

But, that’s the part of journalism that cannot be taught. You can teach AP style and interview skills. You can even teach good writing to an extent, but you cannot teach the passion and drive that move us all forward. You can’t teach resilience and poise, and you certainly cannot teach the ever-so-small level of psychosis I firmly believe every journalist possesses.

I’ve learned in my short time here that journalism is not a perfect profession. It’s riddled with mistakes and sometimes overwhelmed with chaos, but it is beautiful. It’s the journalists of the world who feed on the hectic hours and crazy days and couldn’t imagine anything better than skating over the finish line every single time.

Now more than ever we need journalists. In a world bogged down by claims of fake news and bias reporting, people need to find their truth and fight for it. So, find the journalist within you, and come on over.

While this ending is certainly bittersweet, I know I leave The Charger Bulletin in good hands. I wish nothing but luck to our next editor, Anna Downs, who I know will continue to take this publication to new heights.

And so, I leave you with this: find your passion, wherever it may lie, and hold on to it, because at the end of the day it is not money or success that gets you closer to euphoria, it is finding your truth and fighting for it until the day you die.