‘Don’t tell me I can’t be rich being a journalist’

An unsolicited piece of advice students and young journalists are usually given is that journalism is not a profession for anyone who wants to be rich.

They are usually told that journalism is about having passion for the work, irrespective of what one is paid and not about becoming wealthy.

If being rich is having a lot of money or valuable possessions, Mass Communication students are usually told to opt for Public Relations, Advertising or other professions believed to be better paying than journalism.

I understand that even by global standards, journalism is reported to be one of the lowest paying jobs. But why focus on the monetary value of a profession as a basis for advising students on what to choose instead of highlighting how noble it is?

Journalists are generally poorly paid like some other professionals too but there are media houses that pay journalists better than others in supposedly prosperous professions.

How many professionals can truly be rich if they depend only on their salaries or what they make from the work they do?

Journalism is indeed not only a noble profession, but asloa necessary one which interested persons should not be dissuaded from on the basis of not being what it pays.

There is more to life and maximizing one’s potentials than being rich which money cannot buy. I’m not a rich journalist but I’m not poor. I modestly have basic necessities of life and I’m proud of my accomplishments.

I cherish the privileges journalism has given me; the places it has taken me to and especially the opportunity to be the voice of the voiceless.

The next time mass communication students are told they can’t be rich being journalists, my advice is that their response should be, “don’t tell me I can’t be rich practicing journalism; tell me how rich the profession is.”