After the election: Female journalists and journalism majors comment on their career

By Sarah Ploss and Leah Rostohar

For the past year and a half, the country has been in the midst of a contentious political season. The battle between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump became the main point of many newscasts.

Another piece of the narrative was about the division between the media and the candidates, mainly the tension between Trump and journalists.

One story that got picked up by multiple news outlets was when now President-elect Trump called out NBC News reporter, Katy Tur, at a rally in Miami.  “There’s something happening.  They’re not reporting it.  Katy – you’re not reporting it Katy,” Trump said.  This was not the first time he had called her out.  Earlier in the election season he called her a “third-rate journalist.”

With stories such as these circling, female journalists and journalism students are looking at their field, why they got into it in the first place and where it might go following the events of Nov. 8.

Ithaca College junior journalism major Emily Varga said that she came to the journalism major a little later.

“I came into the Park School as a film major and I realized that I had an interest in documentary, not fiction.  I sat down with a lot of journalism majors and realized that, as cliché as it sounds, I wanted to do something that would leave a lasting mark,” said Varga.

IC senior journalism major, Olivia Cross, came to the field for a different reason.  She said that she was attracted to the ever-changing profession.

“Journalism tends to have this overlying layer of news and it’s all about news, which it is all the time,” said Cross.  “But aside from that it’s more than just news it’s about progressiveness and gearing things towards the way that things are flowing and that was really appealing to me.”

Varga said that one of the main problems she had while covering the election as well as looking ahead is removing herself from what she is covering.

“Being a female journalism major and coming to the end of my college career, you have to find a way to separate the way you feel emotionally as a woman and then as a female journalist,” said Varga.

Looking ahead to entering the field during the Trump presidency did not dampen their excitement. The women agreed that, although it may be hard for some, journalists need to give the President-elect a chance.

Cross said despite the feelings she has seen toward President-elect Trump, the election has not affected her outlook on the future of her career.

“In my perspective, honestly I am not intimidated by who he is as president.  I feel like once you get that mentality of being intimidated by Donald Trump and things that he’s said and comments that he’s made to other women journalists, I think that’s when you personally belittle yourself,” said Cross.

Professional journalist Mary Kielar has been covering the election season since the beginning.  She said that the media has to wait and see what he does, but she hopes to see improvements from the past year and a half.

“We’re hoping that he’ll fall into line as far as you know being a little more respectful and you know we don’t really know what he’s going to do,” said Kielar.

Varga said that she chooses to look at it optimistically and views this change as empowering for women.

“Now, there’s even more of a reason to go out there and report on the truth and actually know what kind of person he is, what kind of president he is, and what kind of president he is going to be,” said Varga.

Cross shared similar sentiments.  She believes that despite what many people have been saying about women, not just in the journalism field, it is important to note that nothing, even a President, should stop women from doing what they want.

“As a woman, people always have these misconceptions that we are limited. I don’t necessarily think we are limited. I think there are so many things we can do and we don’t have to be afraid of the unknown or what might happen,” said Cross

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