I am a computer graphic designer, working in the Journalism industry. Since my college graduation, I have worked in this industry for the past four and half years.
I work closely with other journalists in designing content for my company’s newspaper, “The True Story.” My day to day work entails designing and editing the graphic aspects of newspaper content before it goes to the printing room. This is a very sensitive job and misunderstandings are bound to occur. In my line of duty, perhaps the most common amongst the misunderstandings is the fact that the printing department always assumes that the graphic designer has to set everything in the artwork, and yet this is not the case. Some details have to be set at the printing level. As such, they sometimes skip minor but important details, for instance printing in spot color content is set in grey scale instead of printing it in full color.
I am satisfied with my job and if I were to rate it on a scale of 10, I would give it a score of 8. One of the most demoralizing things about the job is limiting my potential to be creative. Unlike advertising and other forms of graphic design, with journalism my potential to explore more avenues is limited to providing news content. If I cross the boundaries, conflicts are bound to occur for misrepresentation of information, and this isn’t a good thing for my company’s corporate image.
I have a passion for Graphic Designs, and the job I do always gives me satisfaction that I am being paid for what I love doing. Moreover, the fact that I am assisting in passing news and information to people always makes me feel like I found my calling. Ideally, graphic designs are meant to create an impression or communicate something to people, and being in the journalism industry is an icing on the cake.
One unique thing about my job is the assumption by other people seeking similar careers that one does not need to study journalism in order to be a computer graphic designer for a newspaper company. In my first days of employment, I realized that were it not for my journalism training, there are so many mistakes I would have made in such a very sensitive industry.
While in college, I applied for attachment training at “The True Story Ltd.” It was then that the company noticed my talent in graphic design. After completing my studies, I decided to try out applying for a job at the company. Fortunately for me, my talent and previous track record while on attachment earned me a job. If I would rewind the hands of time and tried a different avenue for employment, I wouldn’t do it any better.
Experience is the best teacher, and there are many things I have learned through this teacher. One day I made political satire through the cartoon column, only to be sued later for defamation. In short, what I can tell you is that there is a very thin line between satire and infringing on someone’s rights when you are in the journalism industry, and you must know how to represent your facts right, whether graphically or in written.
Comparing my school life and work life, all I can say is that the latter has taught me what “being practical” means. Book principles do not always apply in the job market. More often, I am forced to think laterally.
One of the strangest things to happen to me was having to stand in a court of law on charges of defamation for doing something I love –graphic design. I can tell you, news is sometimes strange!
I wake up every morning to go for work for two reasons, one is that I need the money, and two, I love graphic designs. I felt so happy when I was editing the images for inauguration of America’s current president to be printed in the daily for the whole world to see. What a great feeling it was!
My major challenge is working to meet deadlines. It can be stressing to work under pressure in the journalism industry.
My job is a bit stressful and sometimes the only consolation is in the passion I have for graphic designing. This sometimes puts a lot of pressure on my private life. The only time I get to rest satisfactorily is when I am on work leave.
My salary is approximately $1100 per month. Money is never enough for any human being, but I can still maintain happy lifestyle with this salary.
I only have two vacations per year, each lasting two weeks. I would prefer everyday to be a holiday, but that is not realistic!
When I was hired in this field, I had a university degree qualification. Before that, I had tried searching for the same job with a diploma certificate to no avail. In this field, concentration, dedication and keenness have helped me succeed.
If one wants to take up this career line, all I can tell them is “develop passion for it.” It hasn’t been merely a walk in the park for me.
Five years from now? I would love to own my own news line firm, doing what I love and making money.
Considered pursuing a career in Graphic Design? This interview, a true career story as told to DiversityJobs, will take you through the ups and downs you can expect, what it takes to land the job, what you can expect to earn and more. This is one of many interviews with professionals in the Journalism industry, among other professional fields.