Job Hazards

So, those that know me know I aspire to the life of a journalist. As such I’ve tried to look into the profession with a critical eye. I’ve read articles, and spoken to respected journalists; I’ve looked into job description, requirements and recently been discovering some of the “job hazards” journalists may have to face.

For instance (and this is from a woman’s perspective), men can be disgusting dogs! Reading commentary online about women journalists is all well and good, until I come across the inevitable. There are comments made about their breasts, legs, marital status and even whether they wear glasses or not! How disgusting can you get? Yes, I know grown men have grown up libidos and hormones, but honestly a line must be drawn somewhere along the way.

Now onto a job hazard, that is a bit more, shall we say, “tame?” Not every journalist will have this problem, but I most definitely could! Imagine this if you will, a reporter innocently going to a house to conduct an interview, and whamo there is a cat or dog. Now I’m not saying all dogs and cats are bad, far from it. I have a wonderful Cocker-spaniel/Terrier cross myself. My meaning, how cats or dogs (or any animal) can be a potential job hazard stems from my serious cat allergy. I will forever love cats, but after only a few short minutes around a cat and I’m sneezing, wheezing and hacking. A most unattractive sight, I can assure you!  I also have an allergy to dogs, but not as severe an allergy. (Note: I’m allergic to pretty much all animals with fur, or feathers).

To add to animals as a job hazard, what if you’re afraid of different animals? Nothing against large sized dogs, but for the most part I am truly skittish around them. The only exceptions being if I know the owner or if it’s on a leash being properly controlled. I always get the okay from the owner, that the dog in question is okay to be around (i.e. won’t bite my head off). Then, and only then do I feel confident around dogs of a large breed such as Rottweiler, or Golden Retriever. Yes, you might laugh at the mention of golden retrievers, but that is the dog breed I had incident with when I was young.  I wasn’t even attacked, but knocked down from behind and been scared of golden retrievers especially ever since.

Another potential job hazard is, let’s face it, appearances count. I’m still unclear as to why it matters, but clearly some viewers of TV news have to nitpick. People comment on every little pimple, or makeup they think is too dark or too light. Viewers feel a desire, it seems, to comment too, on the attire of those presenting the day’s news. For myself, I too am guilty of this. Example being, I have seen men on the news wearing pink ties and commented (to myself!) on it. Likewise if I see someone wearing a nice shade of eye shadow, or even if they are wearing glasses. (Some news personalities I know of, don’t often wear them so I’ve been surprised seeing them suddenly, in glasses). Though I try not to say anything about this, as it really should be about the news.

Along with people nitpicking on attire, makeup, etc. there is also one other thing people will forever pick up on, and comment on. People will always be catching every mistake made by a TV journalist, whether a simple trip of the tongue or full on technical difficulty. Why people must do this, is beyond me. Yes I am a hypocrite here, I fully admit it. I can, and often do, catch typos a mile away when it comes to reading. True, not the same medium as TV news, but it’s still catching an error. I still feel, it is a great disservice to an on air personality, to constantly catch them when they make errors. They are human after all, and “to err is human” right?

Guess these things, will have to be extra crosses for me to bear. I love journalism though; the tight deadlines and the adrenaline rush of breaking news. I may not have ever experienced these things, as anything other than a viewer, but it seems like heaven to me.


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