I Believe Reflection

I believe…

1) That news connects us to a social cause and there is nothing in the history of humanity that is more powerful than humans connected to a social cause, even if they differ on their solutions.

2) That journalism is the intersection of sociology and verbal/visual communication.

3) That our goal as journalists is to tell stories that take us out of our comfort zones.

4) That the largest challenge we have as journalists is for the general public to give a damn about the craft and the language of what we do.

5) That the biggest problem with journalism is that we’re disconnected from our conception with what news is.

6) The most effective form of journalism for a disconnected youth that gravitates towards the internet for feeling is gonzo journalism.

7) That journalists work with people (not their ‘subjects’) to tell stories that connect us all, especially stories of frailty.

8) The greatest strength of a journalist is her/his desire for change.

9) That the future of journalism is bright. As millennials and the next generation connects to larger causes and forms of expression via the internet, they will move past their desire for quick “clickbait” and come to value honesty and diligence in expression and craft.

10) The greatest challenge of a journalist is to give up what he/she knows in the genuine belief that humanity is good and that change will come. This applies to anyone who believes in social justice, but as journalists are those who have crafted a career and way of life out of it, it becomes easy to give in to the growing cynicism that journalists themselves create to chase the almighty dollar.

Reflection: For the most part, I still agree with a lot of what I believed at the beginning of the semester. What’s changed, however is my belief of journalism as the intersection between sociology and various forms of communication, and, how we’re disconnected from our conception of what news is.

While I still believe the intersection of a sociologist and communicator still fits into certain molds of journalism, I’ve learned how separate it can be depending on the assignment and story at hand. Sociologists will often bring a lot of abstract social theory into application and sometimes “experiment” through observation. Similarly, journalists will often observe and collect their own data as story matter. How these two separate, I’ve learned, is where the conclusions get drawn. Often journalists aren’t drawing a definitive conclusion but providing multiple conclusions from varying perspectives. Sociologists, however, will put forth absolute answers more of the time. While journalism isn’t devoid of this, there’s a lot more emphasis put on the representation of various viewpoints at hand to give the reader his/her own autonomy. Sociologists, like journalists, can be overtaken by a sense of grandeur and theory.

Secondly, I don’t think we’re necessarily as devoid of cognition of what news is as I originally thought. At the simplest level, it’s a feeling. It makes happy, sad, laugh, cry, and, hopefully curious to ask more questions. While our stories and the mediums we produce them have changed drastically with the advent of the digital age, I think there are still core values of what news is supposed to be: thought-provoking and inspiring. I don’t feel as cynical about it all as I did at the beginning of the semester.


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