|Publishing not a dying career path|
|Written by Caitlin Perry and August Cassens, Daily Vidette Columnists|
|Sunday, 11 November 2012 15:45|
In this constantly changing multimedia world, many technologies and practices have been left behind in the wake of the digital era. Many assume that publishing — in books, magazines, newspapers or other types of printed text — is dying or already dead. We, as two publishing majors, don’t agree with this cynicism because in all actuality, the publishing world is evolving, not dying.
With all the changes that are happening in the publishing industry, people like us are always adapting in order to be successful. We no longer live in a world where “publishing” only symbolizes the printed word. Today, publishing encompasses both print and digital mediums, design, typography and the ability to use various computer and web-based programs. Right now is not a time when publishing is becoming obsolete — it’s a time when we need to learn about it more than ever.
The publishing major here at ISU, which is within the English department, has the ability to educate interested students on how to be successful and prepared in this field. Our publishing program is one of the things that makes this school unique. No other public university in Illinois has a publishing major, and many schools do not offer publishing programs.
Through the publishing sequence, we have learned many great and useful skills such as editing, designing, using Adobe software and establishing relationships with those whose work we are working with. Having a degree in publishing is more practical than most people think. Our job options are almost limitless, as we can be qualified to work any job that requires writing, editing and designing. Most jobs have some, or all, of these components.
With this field being as useful (and exciting) as it is, we’re surprised that ISU hasn’t expanded it. Unfortunately, we’re noticing that the opposite is happening — less publishing-related classes are being offered, and we don’t have access to design classes or an introductory marketing class. Fewer faculty members who specialize in publishing are being hired to instruct us, and we find this very sad.
If the publishing major is taken away, it’s as if ISU is giving into the belief that publishing is becoming obsolete.
Publishing is also a field of thought, just like other areas of English. Studying within a publishing program is an opportunity for students like us who love English but don’t want to focus on literature, creative writing or teaching. Having the option to not only develop our writing but also our editing and designing skills in the publishing program makes our skillset for post-college highly marketable and full of endless possibilities. We wouldn’t have these abilities or options with a focus solely in writing or literature.
We know that with recent changes in the industry, such as the increase in e-books and e-readers, newspapers utilizing websites more and even the demise of Newsweek’s print magazine, it appears that publishing is being replaced by technology. This isn’t the case though, and it’s important to understand that an education in publishing is just as necessary now as it was before.
Publishing is taking a new form, and with it, so are the students who are learning how to work in this field. We would like to encourage ISU’s English department to consider the benefits of developing the publishing program, as its possibility of greatness will only add to its students’ successful futures.