Why I still love journalism

When I first began college, I looked for a church. At the third one I visited, the large church held a college Sunday School before the main service. One of the adult men helping with the group joined my group of friends and asked us all our names and majors. When my turn came, I introduced myself and said I was studying journalism.

“That’s a dying field,” he replied.

I was shocked. I literally did not know what to say, and he made no attempt to redeem himself. Instead of welcoming me as a new student and encouraging my interests, he unapologetically decried my dream.

Partly due to this shocking and discouraging encounter, I did not return to that church. I did continue to pursue my journalistic dream, however, by joining the school paper, where I later became News Editor.

This summer I am interning at a magazine called Today’s Christian Woman to broaden my journalistic experience since I had previously only done News. Part of my role as an intern is to look for excerpts from books, which we then post online to stamp our approval for that author’s work. In doing so, I recently read “Starting Something New,” a non-fiction book by Beth A. Booram, a spiritual director living in Indiana.

Booram walks the reader through 14 steps of “birthing a dream” from the idea, through discernment and waiting, to birthing and sustaining. She includes helpful reflection exercises at the end of each chapter to help the reader process God’s leading in his or her dream.

My dream centers on the Democratic Republic of Congo and journalism. God has made this clear in many ways this past year, and those two things immediately came to mind yet again as I read Booram’s questions at the end of her second chapter, “Brooding”: What do you spend the most time doing? What do you spend the most time thinking about? Where do you find yourself giving the most effort or caring the most? What excites you? Causes you the greatest joy and satisfaction?

(Racial reconciliation also emerged as an answer to her questions about where I put my emotional energy.)

To the man at that church I visited, I know journalism is changing. For example, while I love the look of ink on my hands from a print newspaper, I recognize that online is taking over print as a primary news source– in fact, I contribute to that! Yes, print journalism is not as popular as it used to be, but News itself, though evolving, is still thriving and will always exist in any democratic society. Perhaps rather than dying or even going through a midlife crisis, journalism is merely going through puberty.

I also recognize that journalism does not pay well. Every journalist knows this, but we report because we love the field. I don’t know what the man’s main job was, but if he was a pastor at the church, he may not have made bank either. Church ministry is not an easy field, so I would hope that the man would understand loving a career for what it is and its purpose rather than the monetary benefits it produces.

In all honesty, I had a rough year being News Editor for my paper this past year. I had a love-hate relationship with the job, but after having gone through all the late work nights and stressful meetings and decisions we as a staff overcame, I do not regret it. I am proud of our team, and I will miss being a part of it next year.

When in the rough times this past year, I almost considered leaving journalism, but that didn’t feel right. I know God has called me to journalism in some form, and I want to honor that. I know I will thrive living out my God-given dream and call: journalism in the DRC.

I don’t have every aspect of this dream spelled out, but part of having a dream is the anticipation of it. Butterflies flutter around my core because I know I’m going to be doing what I love even if I don’t know what that looks like yet. My dream’s form may change over time, and that’s okay too. Currently the thrill is in the anticipation and preparation, in the trust I have that God will work it out for His glory.

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Introduction

The idea of autobiographies has always seemed egotistical to me, but I must write one for the sake of this blog. Let’s call it a testimony to all readers instead of a biography, for my life is not mine, and this blog is not about me. It is about my Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God who came down to earth’s level to redeem His people. I am a prospective journalist and missionary, and my goal is that both of these future goals will converge in this blog.

My name, Katelyn Skye, contains my life’s purpose. It reflects my identity in Jesus Christ. Katelyn means purity, and Skye comes from Psalm 19, which says, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” To glorify God in everything I think, say, and do and before everyone I meet is the purpose of my life as a Christian, and God is so worthy of praise. Fellow believers, our God is awesome.

What else is important to me besides Jesus, people, and writing? That’s a difficult question because most of my life ties back to God; He’s created my quirks and has given me my passions. I worship God through playing and writing music, I have a cactus named Fred, I enjoy coloring to relax in any spare time, dark chocolate is my favorite, and I go to Wheaton College in Illinois, where I’m studying sociology and journalism. Wheaton is an awesome place full of Christ-like and (get ready for this, Wheaties) intentional community. Besides being a place to grow spiritually, it has challenged me both academically and socially, profoundly impacting my life. I am so blessed to be here, but that’s enough about Wheaton College for now. Let’s talk about Jesus again.

The good news that Jesus came to bring disobedient, selfish, rebellious humans to Himself through His agonizing sacrifice on the cross–this news is not for me alone. His defeat of death when He rose from the dead is not for white Americans alone. Jesus said to His Jewish disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). In His time on earth, He brought Greeks and Jews together to become His church; this amazing feat demonstrates the racial and ethnic unity that God desires throughout the world. No person deserves His mercy and grace, but He extends it to everyone who would believe in Jesus Christ. He values humanity; that’s why He came to earth. Whether praise and worship takes the form of gospel music, Indian dancing, kneeling in a prayer chapel, repeated Korean choruses, frying flautas to serve others, rapping, finger picking on guitar, or painting, God is delighted and given glory. The time has come when men and women from all nations, states, races, ethnicities, and socializations worship Him in the Spirit and in truth (John 4). “Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing” (1 Timothy 2:8).

To conclude, I’ll share something that the apostle Paul wrote in his first letter to Timothy: “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen” (1:13-15).