While I'm not a journalist, I really liked your question, so thought I'd offer my thoughts.
People might try to tell you that the news business is dying (and they might be partially right concerning newspapers), but I'd argue that we're reading more news than ever these days...just in different formats / via different mediums.
So I'd encourage you to pursue journalism and I'd encourage you to think about what that can mean beyond just writing for a newspaper. Get started as soon as possible...write early and often. Start a blog, write for your school newspaper, see if you can write for a small, local newspaper...these will all help you better understand the business and to determine if it is right for you.
Hope this helps...good luck to you!
Hi Sean, Journalism is still a great field to go into. Journalism isn't going anywhere, it's the way that we tell these stories that is changing.
I'd also suggest figuring out what you love to write about, zeroing in on these topics, and then branding yourself as a particular type of writer (health, public policy, politics, etc.). This can help you stand out on applications.
Social media will be a great place for you to network with other writers. There are tons of great journalists on Twitter, for example. Follow and interact with them. See what they tweet about, and what people respond to. Ultimately, developing a following on Twitter will get more eyeballs on your work, and will lend some credibility to your brand as a journalist.
Most of all, be prolific. Good writers become great writers because they write all the time. I'd recommend blogging or reporting for local news outlets for free to get some clips, if you don't already have any. But you should also consider writing on a personal blog to demonstrate your abilities, and for practice. You'll need an online portfolio with writing clips to apply for jobs.
The media industry is a fun, fast-paced environment. Most people work very long hours, but love what they do.
Hope that helps!