Ask the Trollacle: journalism

This week, your faithful Trollacle answers a most difficult conundrum for a very troubled reader.

Dear Trollacle,

I am soon to graduate from my journalism degree. I would like to know my chances of  finding employment in this field. Should I go for a cadetship at a major newspaper or try my hand at freelancing?

Thank you, Wordsmith

PS are you hiring at Ltd News?

Dear Wordsmith,

I’ll start by putting one thing out there, clear and frank. No chance in hell you’re getting a gig here.

They don’t even pay me and I’m the one with the crystal ball. Sure, we could use an intern or two, but quite frankly the OH&S around here will quickly ensure any journalistic lessons you pick up will be superseded by the cast on your leg and the stains on your clothes.

Unfortunately, it’s about time you realised the concept of ‘journalism’ is a misnomer. You are a ‘communicator’ and, judging by the state of our education system today, coupled with the on-the-job training afforded by the mainstream media, you’ll never be a very good one. The best you can hope for is a regional paper hack job, filing stories about cats up trees and conspiracies between the Democrats and the sparkies’ union. If you’re still up for that future, go ask Gemma Jones for some tips.

Cadetships are indeed a great way to get your foot in the door at a major news outlet. Imagine being one of the few people who are allowed on to the hallowed ground of fast-paced journalism; to learn all that the greats of today’s media have to offer – now burst that bubble in a haze of coffee-fetching, children’s court rounds and subediting the classifieds.

My advice to you? Quit while you’re ahead. You have a degree. Well done. You’ve qualified to be a barrista in an inner city cafe. Likelihood is high you’ll enjoy your job, be paid better and meet more interesting people. No-one gives a shit about journalism anymore. You only have to look around your nearest train station and see the rows of sheeple, sniggering at the gossip section of MX to see that. Your chosen degree and subsequent future profession is a joke and will likely be dead and buried within the decade.

You’re welcome.

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