Why we love the “bogus” degree
As a Media Studies student it is safe to say that we only aspire to be like those who have excelled (in a civilised and sophisticated manner) at what they do and those who keep reaching the heights. For someone like David Bullard to dismiss a Degree in Journalism as bogus is not only unruly but very biased, because the only way in knowing that something hasn’t served any good in your life is by testing it and being failed and David Bullard had no Journalism Degree to test, hence he has no basis for his self-made “fact”.
To be a great writer is one thing but to be a writer that stays great and popular is another. As a junior student of Journalism you are taught the do’s and don’ts of writing for the masses, what is considered as offensive to others and what kind of stories draw the audience into your work and keeps them captivated. All the aspects of Journalism aren’t things you can learn in a mere three month course. According to Bullard all that writers need to know can be taught in a three month course that can qualify you as a journalist and the rest takes greatness.
Being a good writer is key but being a good writer doesn’t teach you how to not get fired from a reputable newspaper, because your column was seen as racially offensive. Being just a good writer does not teach you that insulting and infuriating others is not the only way to remain relevant. Journalism does not teach you how to be a good writer, Journalism teaches you how to be a professional writer, one that engages audiences respectfully, sets a platform for debate and informs without constantly having to step on others to be deemed “entertaining”. Students study journalism not to be the next best academic but to better their craft and improve their level of writing and learn what kind of stories intrigue the audience.
Pursuing anything media-related is flooded by arguments of it not being a “real” degree or not guaranteeing future-employment, but that is the reality for every degree out there, it guarantees nothing. The only way a graduate will flourish in their chosen career is by putting that degree to good use. A career in writing is not one we choose but one our passion chooses for us.