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Taking the leap

Posted: December 22, 2011 3:02 p.m.
Updated: December 23, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Choosing a career in the media makes me a willing martyr. Although I am drawn to the glossy covers of magazines and daydream about seeing my 10-point byline in publications nationwide, making a living as a reporter means continuously living in my most vulnerable state.  

The definition of vulnerable is “capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt as by a weapon,” according to dictionary.com. Between the broadcast journalism program I participated in during high school and the 2006 movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” I discovered that even the seemingly pretty parts of working in media are a façade. Constantly subject to the opinions of editors, the public, publishers and your own inner-critic, one article or viewpoint can garner so many mixed reviews that it can discourage any media professional not fully dedicated to their craft.

I’ve flirted with the idea of becoming a writer since childhood, but could never fully commit until now. After taking a few months to adjust to the “real world” following my May graduation, I realized that I have a history of repressing my passion for writing and reporting. The fact of the matter is publishing what I write puts me in the most vulnerable state I can possibly be in, and I am the type of person who loathes being vulnerable. I mean, I absolutely hate the moments before, during and after being vulnerable because it’s scary when you are expressing yourself to others. Take a look at some of the comments on your favorite news sites and you’ll understand what I mean. All of the things that are important to me, however -- every single thing that I care about -- require vulnerability over and over again.

Despite the fact that I have actively engaged in using the media since elementary school and receive lots of encouragement from my parents and professors in the realm of journalism, only recently have I acquired the confidence, the will and the heart it takes to keep up with this changing industry, while developing influence by dedicating myself to a topics that people care about. I love journalism because I get to use the very thing that makes me, and a lot of other people, feel vulnerable: my voice. I knew that I wanted my first journalism title to be education reporter. What better way to start pushing past that vulnerability than by shining a light on the policies and developments that will set the foundation for future leaders, today’s public school children. What better way to use my voice than defending those more susceptible than me. 

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