“Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.”

Walter Cronkite, Journalist

Pros and Cons of Being a Journalist

advantages and disadvantages of being a journalist

You think about becoming a journalist? Great! However, before you make your final decision, make sure to check out this article since I show you all the pros and cons of being a journalist so that you can better decide whether a journalism career is for you or not.

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Advantages of Being a Journalist

  1. You can work in many different locations
  2. Journalism offers the opportunity to work internationally
  3. You can meet many new people
  4. You can make your contribution to objective coverage
  5. Being a journalist can let you grow in character
  6. You can spread your ideas
  7. Many different topics you can write about
  8. You will always learn new things
  9. You can work with many different people
  10. Journalism never gets boring
  11. You will get a better impression of how life actually works
  12. Being a journalist can help you grow your network
  13. You will learn how to get out of your comfort zone
  14. Entry to exclusive events
  15. Your friends may envy you
  16. You can have a high reach
  17. Some journalists earn good money

You can work in many different locations

One advantage of being a journalist is that you can work in many different locations. You don’t have to sit in an office all day long. Journalism involves plenty of traveling since you will have to report from many different events.

Consequently, if you don’t like the conventional office job and want to work in many different locations across the country, chances are that journalism will fit your preferences in this regard.

Journalism offers the opportunity to work internationally

Being a journalist also offers you the opportunity to work in foreign countries. In fact, journalists who work at big media companies often travel across the world and hardly stay in one place for more than a week.

Thus, if you want to see the world and want to report from interesting and exciting places, journalism can not only give you a free plane ticket for this, you can even make a living out of traveling the world.

You can meet many new people

Another upside of working as a journalist is that you can meet many new people from many different places across the world. In fact, it can be quite exciting to see how people all over the world live and how they often have a completely different view of the world.

By meeting all those people, you can not only make really good friendships, but you will also realize how relative life really is and that our way of life we know back home is just one of many different lifestyles people celebrate across the world.

You can make your contribution to objective coverage

Journalism can also be really important for society. People only realize what’s going on in the world through media channels and TV. However, many reports are quite biased in a certain direction and most reports are not objective at all.

Hence, by becoming a journalist, you can make the media landscape more helpful by reporting in a more objective manner and by showing people how things really are.

Being a journalist can let you grow in character

In general, being a journalist will also let you grow in character. You will see many things you will not understand or not like at first. You will also get in conflict with people and will have to resolve those issues.

While this might not sound like a lot of fun, it can still let you really grow in personality. In fact, in my opinion, we learn much more from difficult situations than we do from enjoyable ones.

Learning how to deal with adversity is one of the crucial steps to succeed in life and journalism will teach you this important lesson early on in your career.

You can spread your ideas

Another benefit of being a journalist is that you can also spread your ideas and opinions. Especially if you are a free journalist and don’t work for a media company, you can basically write whatever you want as long as it complies with the local laws. Consequently, if you see things you don’t like at all, you can raise awareness on those topics and you might feel better by doing so.

In fact, many journalists see it as their mission to spread their ideas to make the world a better place. Therefore, if you really want to make a positive impact on many people across the world, journalism may also be the right profession for you in this regard.

Many different topics you can write about

In general, journalism offers you numerous different topics to write about. There are so many new things coming up every day and you will never be able to cover all of them. Consequently, you will never run out of ideas and can write on the topics that you feel are most urgent and interesting to your readers.

You will always learn new things

Journalism is not a standardized job at all. In fact, you will learn new things every day since you will talk to many different people. Moreover, your worldview will also change quite frequently since you will always make new experiences that shape you in many different ways.

All this means that you have to reinvent yourself every day and that you also have to adjust your behavior from time to time. All the new skills you will learn by being a journalist can be quite helpful for later on in your life, even if you quit journalism sooner or later.

You can work with many different people

Journalism also gives you the opportunity to work with many different people. During your journalism career, you will work with many different colleagues and when your reporting location changes or a project is finished, you will move on to different projects and regions and work together with completely new people.

Thus, if you really love working in many different teams and want to discuss your ideas with as many people as possible, journalism can be a great career path for you.

Journalism never gets boring

If you work as a newsperson, chances are that you will also never get bored. Since you will work from many different locations and will meet many new people over time, chances are that you will always have something to talk about. Moreover, you will often find yourself in rather unfamiliar situations and have to solve problems on a regular basis.

Consequently, journalism is one of the jobs that never get boring and if you are a rather curious person who loves to be surprised, becoming a journalist may be the right way to go for you.

You will get a better impression of how life actually works

Since you will see so many different things during your journalism career, you will also better understand how life actually works. Most people just go to their 9 to 5 job every day, do quite standardized stuff and come back home tired and exhausted. However, by following these patterns, people are often trapped in the rat race and don’t have the time to really think outside the box.

In turn, people often just live in their narrow reality without realizing that life has so much more to offer. Through journalism, you can experience many new ways of life and this can really change and expand your view on the world quite a lot.

Being a journalist can help you grow your network

Being a journalist can also greatly help you to grow your network. Since you will talk to so many people, chances are that you will find some people who share the same values and attitudes with you.

In turn, chances are that you will stay connected with those people for a quite long time and this can give you a huge advantage if you consider working for those people later on in your life.

You will learn how to get out of your comfort zone

Becoming a journalist also offers you a great way to get out of your comfort zone. We as humans like staying in our lane and not trying too many new things since we are often afraid to do something wrong. However, this can be quite limiting since only if we experience new things, we can really grow in character.

In journalism, you will have to be open to talk to many different people you might not have talked to otherwise. Moreover, you will also see some exotic things during your career. All this lets you get out of your comfort zone and to really experience life as it is.

Entry to exclusive events

Many journalists also get entry to quite exclusive events. If you are really good at what you are doing, you can report from world-class events everyone wished to get entry to.

Thus, if you are a fan of the red carpet and want to report from those fancy events, journalism can also greatly help you in this regard.

Your friends may envy you

Due to your access to exclusive events and since you will have the opportunity to travel a lot as a journalist, chances are that many of your friends will also envy you quite a lot. Thus, if you love bragging about things in front of your friends, journalism can also help you to show off.

You can have a high reach

If you are really good at what you are doing, you can also have a pretty high reach through your journalism activities. In fact, journalism is no longer confined to traditional reporting on TV or on radio, you can also spread your ideas through social media channels. Some of your posts may go viral and you may reach millions of people with your ideas.

Consequently, you do not even have to work for a media company anymore, you can also work as free journalist when you have built up a big-enough audience and monetize your followers yourself.

Some journalists earn good money

If you have a big reach and your audience likes your articles quite a lot, you can also earn really good money from being a journalist. While it is true that most journalists who work for media companies don’t earn a lot, you can still build your personal brand for yourself and work on other projects on a private basis in addition to your official job.

Over time, you may be able to earn quite a lot of additional money if you really push hard on increasing your reach.

Disadvantages of Journalism

  1. You will be away from home quite often
  2. Being a journalist can be stressful
  3. Strict deadlines are a problem
  4. You may get shitstorms on social media
  5. You may become a public figure
  6. Many people will just not like you
  7. You will see many bad things while being a journalist
  8. Some people may even threaten you
  9. You have to be flexible regarding your working times
  10. Journalists sometimes feel lonely
  11. Being a journalist can cause problems with your family life
  12. You will have to justify yourself in front of your family and friends
  13. You may have to work in dangerous territory
  14. Most journalists don’t get wealthy or even rich
  15. Some journalists may become obsolete in the near future
  16. You have to keep up with latest technologies

You will be away from home quite often

Apart from the many advantages of journalism, there are also some downsides related to it. For instance, one problem with being a journalist is that you will be away from home quite often. While this might not be a problem if you love traveling, it can be a serious issue if you are the type of person who wants to stay at home.

Especially if you have children, it can be quite hard to leave your family and travel to other places on a regular basis since you will not have much time to see your children grow up.

Being a journalist can be stressful

Journalism also implies plenty of stress. Quite often, you will have a high workload and will not know how to handle all of your tasks at the same time.

Moreover, if you report on rather controversial topics, chances are that you will also have to deal with haters or people with different attitudes who will try to bring you down.

All this can cause significant levels of stress, which in turn can result in serious mental issues in case you don’t have the stomach to deal with those things in a proper manner.

Strict deadlines are a problem

Being a journalist also means that you will often have strict deadlines and that you have to finish your reports in time. Especially in stressful times, this can be quite annoying since you will be rather inflexible regarding when to do your work and even if you don’t have any motivation for it right now, you still have to push through those difficult times and do your work.

Over time, this can become quite annoying and you may also have to cancel some appointments with your friends since you will have to finish reports in the late evening.

You may get shitstorms on social media

Many journalists had also been victims of shitstorms over social media in the recent past. In fact, ideas are shared almost in real-time through social media and if you work on controversial topics, chances are that you will also suffer from a shitstorm sooner or later during your journalism career.

Thus, before becoming a journalist, make sure that you have the stomach and the emotional stability to deal with online hate and shitstorms.

You may become a public figure

While some people love the spotlight and want to become famous, others just don’t like becoming a public figure at all. In fact, there are many downsides to be famous. People will recognize you and you will not have the opportunity to spend a quiet evening in a restaurant or in the cinema together with your family since people will come and ask for certain favors.

Also your haters will figure out where you live and may annoy you quite a lot. Consequently, being a journalist also means becoming a public figure and if you don’t want all the stress that comes along with it, you will be far better off searching for a different career path.

Many people will just not like you

People are not always nice and some people will just not like you at all. They will try to bring you down and will leave nasty comments on your social media profiles. Of course, you can just ignore those people and you will be fine. However, just be aware that those things will happen and that you have the emotional stability not to take those people seriously.

You will see many bad things while being a journalist

Another disadvantage of being a journalist is that you will also see many bad things during your career. Especially if you have to work in crisis areas, you will see many people who desperately search for help since they run out of food or water. Yet, you will not have the power to help them most of the time.

Consequently, seeing people suffer can be a huge emotional burden and many people simply can’t deal with these things. Thus, before deciding for a journalism career, make sure that you have the stomach to see many bad things that happen all over the world.

Some people may even threaten you

While the majority of people may just leave nasty comments on your social media profiles if they don’t like you, a minority of people may even threaten you or your family. This can be quite annoying and also terrifying since some people are just mentally insane and you will not know how their next moves will look like.

You have to be flexible regarding your working times

Being a journalist also means that you will have to be rather flexible regarding your working hours. Quite often, something unexpected happens and you will be required to report from locations hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your home town from one day to the other.

Thus, make sure that you have this high level of flexibility that is required from you for a journalist career before deciding for it.

Journalists sometimes feel lonely

Journalism can also be a lonely game. Even though you have the opportunity to talk to many people, you will still often sit in your hotel room on your own since you have to finish your articles and also have to do plenty of research.

Many journalists also stay awake at nighttime and process all the things they have experienced the previous days. In extreme cases, this can also lead to sleep deprivation and related mental issues in the long run.

Being a journalist can cause problems with your family life

Another downside of becoming a journalist is that it may also hurt your family life. If you are away quite often, you will not be able to see your kids growing up. Moreover, your spouse will miss you and if you are not around most of the time, he or she may start cheating on you.

Thus, a journalism career can be a real danger to your family life and you should make sure that risking your family life is really worth it to you.

You will have to justify yourself in front of your family and friends

Since you will be a public figure, your family and friends will see your articles and your opinion on certain topics. This also implies that you will have to justify yourself on a regular basis since your loved ones may have different attitudes towards many topics than you.

You may have to work in dangerous territory

A job as journalist is also not always safe. If you have to report from crisis areas where serious conflicts are going on, you will be in serious danger of getting attacked. Consequently, you should make sure that you are willing to take this risk before deciding for a journalism career.

Most journalists don’t get wealthy or even rich

While some journalists are able to make a decent living, many journalists out there even struggle to cover their basic expenses. Thus, if you want to get rich, there are many better career paths out there.

Some journalists may become obsolete in the near future

Due to technological progress, some journalists may also become obsolete in the near future. In fact, like in many other industries, some journalists will simply no longer be needed since machines will do some of the work. Thus, I would also not consider jobs in journalism to be safe in the long run.

You have to keep up with latest technologies

Journalists also always have to keep up with latest technologies. Technologies that had been state-of-the-art just a few years ago have been replaced by newer technologies and since technological progress is such fast, this development will likely also continue in the future.

Consequently, you should be willing to work and to adapt to latest technologies if you want to stay successful as a journalist.

Top 10 Journalism Pros & Cons – Summary List

Journalism ProsJournalism Cons
Being a journalist can be quite interestingBeing a journalist can be lonely
You can work on many different projectsJournalism can be stressful
You can meet many new peopleYou will be away from home quite often
Journalism can help you to spread your ideasJournalists often work long hours
Being a journalist never gets boringBeing a journalist can be dangerous
You get entry to exclusive eventsMay hurt your family life
Journalists often have a high reachFlexibility regarding working times required
Can get you out of your comfort zoneStrict deadlines can be a problem in journalism
Working as a journalist can be funSalaries are rather low
You will always learn new skillsPeople will try to bring you down

Should You Become a Journalist?

From the previous analysis, it has become clear that there are many important advantages and disadvantages of being a journalist. Thus, make sure to evaluate all the pros and cons of journalism so that you can make a profound decision regarding whether journalism will be the right career path for you or not.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journalism

https://www.britannica.com/topic/journalism

https://www.americanpressinstitute.org/journalism-essentials/what-is-journalism/

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people of all ages about our environmental problems and how everyone can make a contribution to mitigate these issues.

As I went to university and got my Master’s degree in Economics, I did plenty of research in the field of Development Economics.

After finishing university, I traveled around the world. From this time on, I wanted to make a contribution to ensure a livable future for the next generations in every part of our beautiful planet.

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