OPINION: Stop with the snide remarks about journalists

The headline may seem rude, but I need to be honest: I am sick of hearing the same thing when I tell people what field I plan on going into. 

I already know that journalists get a bad rep, and it’s gotten worse over the past decades. I am aware that misinformation exists and that many news outlets tend to lean towards a certain political party — which can shift a narrative; however, is this indicative of every journalist?

According to Ad Fontes Media, the media bias chart shows that most major news outlets such as ABC, CBS, and The Associated Press are all in the middle of the bias chart. This means that these outlets use facts and not political stances for their stories. When it comes to journalism, writing stories involves a lot of research, even when it comes to opinion and art pieces. 

Before I started as a student journalist at The Sunflower, I was on the yearbook staff in middle school and on the newspaper in high school. 

I’ve always had a passion for writing and telling other people’s stories, and there are many people who have supported me throughout my journey; however, there have been those who have given me looks or made snide remarks. Some remarks may have been lighthearted in nature, but after hearing the same jokes so many times, it starts to grow old. 

I have been asked by many people what I am going to college for, and I give them the same answer: journalism. Most people find it cool, some give me the opportunity to network even, and some make comments like:

 “You’re not going to write fiction like other journalists, are you?” 

Now, with comments like these, I try to brush it off, but I am getting tired of it.

I am completely aware that everyone hears comments about their jobs. Especially if it’s a woman in a male-dominated field. 

In fact, according to Editor and Publisher, many news stories that we see published in print or online are written by men. 

69% of print news is written by men, while 31% is written by women. When it comes to online news, 57% is written by men, while 43% is written by women. 

While some fields in journalism have a higher percentage of women than men, men dominate most of the fields. In fact, the gap between men and women grows larger when looking at higher job titles, like editors.

According to the Washington Post in 2014, copy editors/layout editors/online producers are 60.1% male and 39.9% female.

As a female in a male-dominated industry, I understand that some are less inclined to take me seriously. That’s why, as a student journalist, I strive to work hard to get to where I want to be in the future.

Just like any other person or field, journalists have a job to do.