Landon Dierks is a senior journalism major from Mitchell. He changed his major from mathematics to journalism because he wanted to meet people, tell stories that connect individuals and make an impact.
In our current societal climate, feelings are mixed about journalists and journalism in general. A residual impact of that has been students opting for related fields of study such as public relations, advertising or communications studies.
That’s exactly why the need for capable, trained journalists is at an all-time high.
Journalism is NECESSARY.
There will always be a need for truth and individuals to find that truth and tell the masses, but beyond that, there will always be a need for storytellers.
It’s human nature to want to know things and it’s also in our nature to latch on to powerful stories and narratives.
Journalism is VERSATILE.
Studying journalism equips students with a diverse storytelling toolkit that is useful beyond the bounds of traditional broadcast or news-editorial journalism.
Strong writing and storytelling skills are transferrable to a variety of other fields—including the related fields many students choose to study instead of journalism. On the other hand, those related majors might not give the students everything they need to immediately compete outside of their field.
Journalism is POWERFUL.
Most people don’t immediately consider it, but being a journalist means you have a considerable amount of power. How you present facts, people’s words and your own voice can shape the way communities think and feel about a particular subject.
By majoring in journalism, you’re pursuing a field that, at its grandest, has a global reach. You might never win a Pulitzer Prize, but there’s no reason you can’t try.
Journalism is FULFILLING.
Feature and profile writing is a particular interest of mine, and I find the responsibility of representing people and telling their stories in a way that makes both the subject and the writer feel good at the end is something you can’t get many other places.
Just like any field, if you work hard and hone your craft, you’ll be rewarded with opportunity.
The journalism faculty at South Dakota State University have the experience, resources and professional connections to help you get where you want to go; you just need to seize the opportunity.
You can work at the independent, student-run newspaper, The Collegian, and complete fun internships at area newspapers, news stations or communication centers.
What journalism path you take is up to you—it’s your story.