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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Five reasons why the world still needs journalists and writers

Besides graduation day, there are two moments that journalism students always remember—when they were accepted into college, and when their parents sat them down to ask if they were sure they wanted to be a writer. I graduated from Northern in 2007 with an English writing degree and a journalism focus, just in time for the decline of newspapers and print media as a whole.

Was there still room in the world for journalists? Would my skills still matter as I tried to navigate my way into a career? Journalists and professional writing graduates of 2016, don’t worry—the world still needs you. I’m now a content writer at a bustling digital marketing company in Orlando, and when we hire new writers and editors on our team, your skill set is the one we look for on resumes.

Here’s why: Accuracy: If your journalism professors were anything like mine, you were graded harshly if there was a prominent misspelling or factual error in your work. Attention to detail is ingrained in journalists and professional writers in general, so when it comes to spelling names, cities, and other crucial information, the accuracy of your work will consistently stand out.

Getting to the Point: If there’s one thing journalists don’t do, it’s bury the lede. Due to a limited word count and the waning attention span of today’s audiences, you have perfected the art of engaging the reader with what they need to know and when they need to know it.

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Yours is the content that will be read, not just scanned and ignored. Writing on Deadline: Professional writing is a fast-paced world regardless of the specific industry. There will be last minute and unpredictable assignments, and they will have to be prioritized and completed on a series of deadlines.

This environment doesn’t work for everyone, but for you, it’s the nature of the beast. Working an Unpredictable Day: There are slow news days and there are days when you stay well past the end of normal business hours to deliver your assignments.

There is no typical work day for a professional writer, but staying open to all opportunities and being adaptable in your writing will work in your favor and make you an asset to your company. Knowing What Looks Good on the Page: These days, being a writer doesn’t always mean you just put the words on the page. Sometimes you also provide the imagery and graphics for the page, and sometimes you put the whole thing together in a visually interesting and appealing way.

If you can draw an audience in with your imagery and keep them on the page with your words, these skills will not go unnoticed. As you go out into the working world, fresh degree in hand, remember this: Not everyone can do what you do. Do not estimate what you have to offer the writing world.

As my mom told me on my graduation day—the world awaits. Don’t worry if you aren’t completely qualified for the jobs that you apply for; with your skill set, smart employers will understand your value and take a chance on you. I speak for the writers, but the same general message translates to all of you recent graduates: Don’t sell your skillset short, be adaptable and be open to possibilities. The world awaits.

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