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I'm an assistant professor at the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where I teach and research how news sites can better reach their audiences. I received my Ph.D. from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri where I was one of the founding editors of MyMissourian.com, a citizen journalism site for Columbia, Mo. Before graduate school, I worked as a community newspaper editor in Southern Utah and Southern California.

Should I steer my son away from a journalism career?

I’d like to think I had a little something to do with this, but he chose this costume all by himself. I’m not sure what it means that my 8-year-old son wanted to be a newspaper boy for Halloween. It probably means nothing, honestly. Lincoln’s always been an individual. I worried when we went to his Cub Scout costume party and he was the only one who wasn’t a ninja or a Jedi, but it didn’t bother him in the least, especially when he won the most creative title.

While Lincoln (center) asked to a be a newsie this Halloween, his sister Holly, left, and brother Alex, right, asked to be superheroes.

It certainly doesn’t mean he’s headed for a journalism career, and I’m kind of glad. It’s a field I love, a field that needs dedicated people, but especially now, employers are looking for someone how can do everything, and it doesn’t seem as if they support them enough.

If he’s really interested in an information dissemination career, I’d encourage him to strike off on his own. Create his own information channel. Disregard the rules the legacy media has arbitrarily set. If he does, I think he’ll be far more successful and fulfilled.

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