Considering it's my last semester here at Northeastern, I picked my classes with an eye to studying what I'm interested in instead of what I thought I had to study. Consequently, I'm taking French for the first time in six years, I'm taking a microeconomics course (in no small part to re-brainwash me from the libertarian perspective of the course in Washington) and I'm taking a photojournalism course.
The first meeting of that course presented us with an interesting question: why are we taking it? Something like 75% of the class answered, "because I like journalism and I like photography". A fair answer; I'm not going to argue that they're wrong. I just happened to take a more pragmatic approach to the question:
"Because I know that given the industry's trajectory, if I can't take a half-decent picture, I'm not getting a job."
For whatever it's worth, the professor has mentioned that response two or three times since. Apparently the cynicism and pragmatism of knowing you need to have every tool you can in your toolkit has become an almost laudable awareness. But I look at the hoops I'm jumping through to attain those tools and I wonder just how many of them I'm going to need and which ones will prove to be the useful ones. I can already claim a familiarity with video production and editing, podcasting, various forms of social/new media, the processes for writing and editing a story to work for both online and print...but it's not enough, apparently. You have to be a one-man media unit in order to even dream of success in this new age.
Ironic, isn't it, that I maintain one foot firmly in the camp of traditional media while simultaneously doing all I can to ready myself to replace those who remain there?
Image courtesy of Flickr user rolands.lakis.