For many, taking up the path of journalism can be a fulfilling and rewarding career. The job comes with a lot of challenges and responsibilities, but being able to inform the public and hold those in power accountable can be extremely gratifying.
Successful journalists, especially those working on the live news scene, must possess strong critical thinking skills and be able to quickly gather and verify information but also have the appropriate appearance.
Despite the growing acceptance of tattoos in the world, there are still quite a few professions that aren’t so keen on the inked community. Does this relate to journalism? Or can journalists have tattoos without worrying about them affecting their careers?
The answer is not a simple yes or no.
Can Journalists Have Tattoos?
In some newsrooms, having visible tattoos may not be an issue at all. In others, it could potentially be seen as unprofessional and could even lead to discrimination in hiring or promotion opportunities.
There’s no hard-set rule either prohibiting or allowing tattoos in journalism. Like with many other professions, especially those situated in the media sector, it ultimately depends on the specific workplace and how open-minded your supervisors are about tattoos. Some may have a dress code that prohibits visible tattoos, while others may have a more relaxed attitude toward them.
That being said, it’s important for journalists to consider the possible implications of their tattoos in certain situations. For example, if a journalist is covering a conservative event or interviewing conservative figures, having visible tattoos could affect their ability to appear neutral and unbiased.
The same goes for any situation where a journalist’s appearance might draw attention away from the story they are trying to cover.
At the end of the day, it’s up to the individual journalist to weigh the potential risks and benefits and make a decision about whether or not they want to have visible tattoos. As with any aspect of journalism, it’s important to maintain professionalism and ethics in all situations.
Types of Tattoos a Journalist Should Avoid
To maximize your chances of avoiding any negative implications in your career, it’s best to steer clear of certain types of tattoos.
Anything that may be seen as offensive or controversial, such as swear words or hate symbols, should definitely be avoided.
Similarly, political or religious tattoos could potentially affect a journalist’s ability to appear neutral and unbiased in their reporting.
In general, it’s a good idea to steer clear of tattoos that may be seen as overly aggressive or attention-grabbing in appearance. Remember, as a journalist, your focus should always be on the story and delivering accurate information to the public.
The message and design of your tattoos are important but so is the placement.
Visible tattoos on the face, neck, or hands may be seen as unprofessional and could potentially affect your credibility as a journalist. It’s not without a reason that some jobs like flight attendants, pilots, or in some cases teachers have an outright ban on these areas.
Instead, pick body parts that are easily coverable. Some of the safest options include the arms, legs, back, and shoulders.
Journalism Tattoo Ideas
If you’re one of these journos (or journos-to-be) in love with tattoos, why not have a design that relates to your career and passion?
Some ideas could include a pen and notepad, the “press” symbol, or a quote from a famous journalist. You could also incorporate your favorite news publication into your tattoo design.
More ideas include a camera, microphone, a globe representing the world of news, or even the iconic “Stop The Presses” button. Whatever you decide on, just make sure it aligns with your personal and professional values as a journalist and won’t potentially affect your career in any negative way.
As always, it’s important to consider how your tattoos may potentially impact your career in journalism. But with the right design and placement, you can proudly show off your ink while maintaining a level of professionalism.
It’s Still Okay to Discriminate Against Tattooed People
There’s a good reason you still don’t see many news anchors with tattoos.
That’s because discrimination against tattooed individuals is still very much alive and well in many industries, including journalism. Despite the growing acceptance of tattoos in society, they are often seen as unprofessional and can potentially harm job prospects.
This kind of discrimination is often based on outdated stereotypes and personal biases rather than any real evidence that a person’s tattoos would affect their job performance.
With that said, it’s only happening because it’s allowed (at least when it comes to the United States).
According to the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, employers are not allowed to discriminate against employees or potential hires based on their race, religion, gender, national origin, or disability. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include personal traits such as having tattoos.
As a journalist and member of society, it’s important to challenge these stigmas and advocate for equal opportunities for all, no matter their appearance. But until the laws change, it’s important to be aware of and prepare for potential discrimination in the job market.
Why Are Jobs Still Strict About Tattoos?
There are a few reasons why certain industries may still have strict policies about visible tattoos.
One reason is the fear of offending clients or customers. In industries where appearance and professionalism are highly valued, like business or law, having visible tattoos could potentially harm a company’s reputation.
Another reason is the idea that tattoos can be distracting or unprofessional in the workplace. While this may be a personal bias and not necessarily true, it can still affect job opportunities.
Last but not least, some people still live in the 20th century when it comes to tattoos. They may see them as taboo or only for certain groups, like bikers or criminals. This kind of narrow-minded thinking can lead to discrimination in the job market.
Journalists & Tattoos: the Round-Up
To settle the question of whether journalists can have visible tattoos, the answer is: it depends.
There are still industries and companies that heavily value appearance and professionalism, leading to potential discrimination against tattooed individuals. With that said, there are also more progressive companies where tattoos are accepted and even embraced.
Ultimately, it’s important for journalists to consider how their tattoos may affect their careers and make decisions accordingly. And as a member of the industry, we should work towards eliminating stigmas and discrimination against tattooed individuals in all industries.
But at the end of the day, it’s your body and you have the right to express yourself however you see fit – just be prepared for any potential backlash.
If you’re a journalist with tattoos, feel welcome to share your experiences and insights in the comments below.