Pulitzer Winner Shares an Unvarnished View of Journalism

Héctor Tobar was a featured speaker at this year's Mosaic High School Journalism Workshop.

We’ve heard these cautionary words before. But that doesn’t make them any less worth repeating.


At this year’s Mosaic High School Journalism Workshop, a two-week event held at San Jose State University, one of the visiting speakers was Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times columnist Héctor Tobar. Here’s what he told one of the 20 participating school students in a separate one-on-one interview:

“You can’t go into [journalism] expecting to make a lot of money,” Tobar said. “It’s something that you do for the love of it, and sometimes those are the best things in life. If you stick with it, you’ll have rewards in the long run by becoming a more cultured, informed person.”

“What journalism does is it puts you into the world. That’s worth not getting paid very much. It’s a sacrifice, but it’s a worthy one.”

The caveat is that the journalism environment referred to by Tobar is more difficult than ever to find. He’s not talking about posting aggregating content and making careless mistakes magically disappear.

The Mosaic event ran June 12-24. Intriguingly, on the same day that Tobar delivered his remarks (June 16), he also participated in a special Pulitzer Centennial event that tackled the question: ‘What is the future of journalism in the very state that’s given the world the information revolution of apps and social media?’

Additional information about this year’s Mosaic event can be found here.

Previously on FishbowlNY:
Montclair State University Shows Minority High School Students the Journalism Ropes
Pulitzer Winner to High School Students: ‘Look for Stories That You Can’t Put Down’
Remembering a Legendary High School Journalism Teacher