Beauty Buzz! Fun, fashion, runway, make-up, prizes for a great cause

The cause: journalism. Because it's not that glamorous. Just really important.

Debbie Monterrey
September 02, 2019 - 5:57 pm
Beauty Buzz! St. Louis Press Club event for journalism scholarships Plaza Frontenac Nieman Marcus

Join us for the Beauty Buzz! September 7th to benefit journalism scholarships through the St. Louis Press Club by clicking here. It has been my honor to be on the committee for this event. 

In my "invite only" Radio & TV class in high school, the majority of students thought a career in media would be fun and interesting. To my knowledge, I may be the only person in that class to actually make a career of it.

In my first few radio jobs in college and after, I noticed a clear thinning of the herd.

The fun of being in the media and the zeal for investigative journalism were quickly replaced with the reality that, "This just doesn't pay very much!" People left for careers that offered a living wage. A career that didn't require uncertainty and moving around to small markets to "pay your dues" and "learn the craft" while making just enough money to pay rent and possibly eat. But not much more.

In one of my college courses, the local anchor of the TV news was a guest speaker. She was brutally honest. She worked in Kirksville. She didn't make much money. It wasn't glamorous. She probably wasn't going to ever get a job in a larger market so she settled for being a big fish in a small pond with mediocre pay. She urged us to consider what this life would be like, and be realistic about how much we wanted it. 

I really wanted it. But others didn't. Not that much.

I wanted to tell stories. I wanted to highlight injustice. I wanted to investigate. I wanted to bring light to things covered up. And so I stayed in the field.

In my 30s, even more people fell away. Often because they got married and had kids. They simply couldn't make a living in journalism. Those who stay have to really love what they do and feel a calling.

Since the 2016 election, even more people have left the industry. It's difficult to constantly have your profession demonized by the leader of your nation, your work belittled and dismissed. Every reporter/journalist I know has tales about the surge in angry calls/emails/letters/Tweets. It takes a toll. It makes you wonder why you even bother, except someone has to do it. 

Today, we need journalists more than ever. We are losing real reporters at an alarming rate. We are losing newsrooms. We are losing media outlets. We are losing newspapers. Local journalism (covering city council, county council, school board, fire protection districts) is in jeopardy. 

Why would any young person coming out of college with the prospect of hefty student loans take on a profession that doesn't pay much, has an uncertain future and possibly subjects you to abuse and cyber-hate? Because they have the calling. They want to tell stories, they want to investigate, they want to give a voice to the voiceless, they want to change the world. 

That's what we're supporting Saturday (9/7) at the St. Louis Press Club's Beauty Buzz! Sure, it's a fun, glittery affair. But we're raising money for scholarships to ensure that the next generation of journalists can pursue a profession that's been around longer than the United States of America. A profession our founding fathers sought to protect in the first amendment of the Constitution.

If you can't join us Saturday, consider making a donation to show your support for journalism and a free press. 

"Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."--Thomas Jefferson