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Throwed Journalists: Where has professionalism gone?

June 12, 2009

Okay, so no journalists (that I know!) to speak of are throwed* or anything, lol. I just named this post such because of an interesting afternoon I had at my internship today.

I went on a “field trip” to The Flats to shoot the Wally World Festival/Block Party, and there was plenty of beer and liquor abound. One of the organizers asked myself and the other journalist with me if we wanted beer, and we both quickly declined. Lol…besides it being a bit early to take part in any alcohol guzzling festivities (about 1:30 pm), and being that I don’t drink anyway, we were also working.

I recently read an article somewhere, probably on MediaBistro since I practically live on the site, that older journalists feel as though us youngin’s haven’t a clue as to what professionalism is. In fact, one of my journalism classes from this past spring semester included a professionalism grade which was a sizeable chunk in our grade–an “F” in that category would definitely put a hurtin’ on someone with otherwise excellent scores. Our professor stressed the need for this grade and cited some of the same reasons given by the older journalist: a general lack of respect, lack of communication skills, a sense of entitlement on the grounds of obtaining a bachelor’s, and more.

I also read a blog entry which sparked a debate as to whether or not journalists should be eating food from an event they’re covering. Some said heck yes, some said heck no. As for myself, for the most part the nays have it.

So, is professionalism dead?

I don’t think so…people generally seem to enjoy pushing limits, which I think has a lot to do with its obvious regression.

That being said, here are my personal guidelines when it comes to professionalism: writing subjects in all emails as well as a body, even if I’m just sending an attachment (I’ll usually just write “attached” or just let my sig do the trick); not taking advantage of jeans days/casual Fridays–I won’t come in looking like I’m about to hit the gym; addressing people correctly unless they tell me otherwise or to stop! lol; being early; asking if there is anything else I should do before I leave for the day; while in class, not packing my things and causing a ruckus until the class is actually over; not accepting food or drink on assignment unless I feel sick/light headed (I often bring my own to drink! 🙂 ) and more that I can’t think of now but will probably bother you with later.

So, where exactly is professionalism heading? Is it really a problem introduced by young journalists, or can it be felt elsewhere?

~ Bliss

*”throwed” is a slang term for being intoxicated

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