When you think of under appreciated professionals I bet a few of them come to mind. They’re probably the same ones that come to most modern Americans’ mind. Each and every one of you probably drum up fond memories of teachers, nurses, military professionals and even social workers. However, the profession I’m referring to is the one that seems to get bashed on nearly a daily basis. One might argue that it may be the most under appreciated profession for that fact alone. They receive little to no gratitude. They work long hours, are faced with heartbreaking situations regularly, accomplish impossible tasks, have almost no holidays, expose injustices and change the world. They’re the media professionals known as journalists.
The job description asks for a lot. A lot that many aren’t willing to do. There’s also a lot depending on what they do. Think about it. Teachers may depend on those newspapers and books composed by writers to teach their next class. Business professionals depend on the updated Yahoo news story written by a journalist to determine how the real estate industry can effect their next big business decision. Parents look towards their stories to learn about the state of education so they know whether or not to vote in favor of passing the school budget increase. Senior citizens need them to read about how to best plan their retirement funds and deal with health issues. Teenagers and young adults turn to their magazines to get advice on resume techniques or to simply brighten their day with fashion tips or heartwarming story. It’s one of the few professions that can stir up emotions from anger, inspiration, curiosity, empowerment, frustration, betrayal, content and enlightenment all with one breathe.
Writers’ words hold a lot of power and really can change the world. Yet, they are constantly criticized, swiped at, and accused of blowing things out proportion. It’s a lot of responsibility and heat to take for such little pay. The average writer/journalist/reporter salary rings in around $30,000. With a masters degree under their belt, that salary only goes up to about $45,000 to $50,000. There is no such thing as overtime or holidays because the news doesn’t stop.
They also aren’t honored on any holidays because many don’t respect them or recognize all they do. And the ones that are honored on holidays are few and far between because they are so easily forgotten. When was the last time you thought about journalists who risked their lives to keep the public updated on wars and terror on Memorial day? Or what about that writer who was able to make you realize you weren’t alone as she captured the exact thoughts you had the moment you found out you were diagnosed with cancer? Have you thanked her?
Journalists don’t get discounts to stores, receive special perks or have a week dedicated to their greatness like some other honorable professions do. It takes a special person to put in such hard work with almost no acknowledgement. It’s about time journalist/writers/reporters were added to the ranks of honorable careers noted for their ability to make moves and change the world.
Do you think journalists are under appreciated? What other careers do you think receive little appreciation or respect?
TERRIfic Quip: Life isn’t about finding yourself. It’s about creating yourself.