Does what it says on the tin.
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‘Newspaper circulation continues to decline rapidly,’ When I read headlines like this one my first reaction is to smile smugly to myself, safe in the knowledge that I chose the right journalism option to study at Cardiff University. But then I read on. Alas, it’s not only in the land of the dailies people are losing their jobs and reporters are being spread as thinly as a dieter’s low fat spread on their 31 calorie crispbread.

Furthermore, it’s not just the lowly juniors losing their jobs: the fat cats, well established in their roles, are also being thrown overboard as sales figures plummet and even the grandest of ships rock to and fro in the stormy seas of the magazine market.

So now I’ve set you up with a suitably dramatic and gloomy picture, how shall I turn this around? Because if I can’t, I might as well give up now and high-tail it back to Scotland where I can settle down with the local Laird and in ten years time look back and laugh at my days trying to pursue a career in journalism.
But some how that’s not really me, so here goes:

For one thing, if you are the type to turn and run at the first hint of a challenge I would hazard that you are not cut out for journalism. How many times as a journalist are you going to have to push that extra little bit to get the information you want? In such instances you wouldn’t think to yourself, “Oh Damn I didn’t get the quote or angle I was looking for, never mind I’ll just go back to the office for a cup of tea and a slice of Battenburg,” would you?

Two years ago if Barack Obama had decided the presidential race was too much of a struggle and thrown in the towel, then today we wouldn’t have the joy of celebrating the demise of the neo-conservatives in America after eight years in office.

But now he has been voted as the next Commander in Chief, Obama should expect challenges which are arguably bigger than those faced by previous men holding the reins. This Times article provides a great summary of the changing role of America in international relations and the reality of the situation Obama is now confronted with. In another medium, this cartoon from tabtoons@telus.net illustrates the enormity of what President Bush is passing on to the Democrats.

Again, Obama is unlikely to look at this challenge, think “sod this for a game of soldiers” and run back to Illinois with his tail between his legs.

Similarly then, when faced with a competitive job market, you would be foolish to see the glass as half empty when you could see it as half full. It may be a daunting time to become a journalist but I find that to be part of the draw. To an extent, all journalists are egoists; we like what we write and we like others to read it and like it as well.

In some ways then, the current clime may be even better for massaging those egos. At least if you get a job you know you must be pretty damn good. Which leads me to my final point: what should we do to stop ourselves from trembling at the knees in the face of all the doom and gloom prophesising about the world of journalism? Be pretty damn good. Embrace change and change with it and I fail to see how you can be left behind.

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