Journalism student turned aspiring publisher

Dog Eared Discount Books on Display photo by Liz Ireland

Photos of the discount book bins at local, independent bookstore Dog Eared Books on Valencia St, in San Francisco, CA. Photo Credit: Liz Ireland/SFSU Journalism Student

How journalism made me want to publish comic books

Journalism is something that has always been familiar to me. Since I can remember, the San Francisco Chronicle has been delivered to my parents’ house every morning, skimmed at the breakfast table and picked apart throughout the day. I am majoring in journalism not only because it is something I have grown up with, but also because it fascinates me. 

The process of finding a story, following leads, talking to people and writing something interesting and relevant has always inspired me. I’m majoring in journalism because I have always loved to write and with journalism I can put my passion towards something important and interesting.

When I first started at San Francisco State University I knew I was going to study journalism, but I knew I did not want to be a journalist. I love the craft of journalism, but I’m not sure if I can make a career out of it. Instead I want to pursue a career in publishing.

Ideally, I want to work for a small, independent press that focuses on alternative media such as zines, comics, radical fiction and non-fiction, graphic novels and records. An example of such a publishing house is Microcosm Publishing. Microcosm’s website describes the company as, “a not-for-profit collectively run publisher and distributor of zines and related work, Microcosm Publishing strives to add credibility to zine writers and their ethics, teach self empowerment, show hidden history, and nurture people’s creative side!” I would like to edit and review published titles, put together public relations and scout new authors and titles.

A journalism degree would be perfect for this job. The skills I have and will be learning show me how to edit and write. My writing skills will help me put together press releases, write reviews and how to communicate through e-mail and other digital means. The investigative and interviewing skills I’m learning will help me find writers and conduct interviews.

After graduation I see myself working for a small press in either the Bay Area or Portland, OR. Five years after graduation, my ultimate goal is to use the skills I learned in journalism to start my own, hopefully successful publishing house.

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