National Security Correspondent at Los Angeles Times
Journalism is changing so much right now that old farts like us may not be able to answer your question in a way that is meaningful for you. But here's what probably will remain true: A career in journalism means giving up some good things in favor of other good things. What you give up is the opportunity to make the sort of money you could earn in other professional endeavors like law or business. What you get if you succeed is an incredibly rewarding career filled with opportunities to tell stories, right wrongs, travel the world, witness history, see things up close that others could never see. You have to be willing to work long hours at crappy, low-paying jobs at first, because it's a craft you really have to learn while doing. It helps if you love to write, are curious and enjoy dealing with all sorts of people. So yeah, it's a great career choice for some people -- you just have to figure out if you are one of those people. It's also true that many people start in journalism and move on to something else they learned about while practicing journalism, like public relations, government or business.