‘I Believe..’ Reflection

I believe……

1.That the most challenging thing about being a journalist is…finding a way to present information and stories in a way that will make a wide variety of people understand why it is relevant to their own life and experiences.

2. That the future of news is… simply change, and not ‘decline’. People will always have an insatiable need to know what is going on, especially as we progress further into the “Age of Information”. That’s not going to disappear along with print journalism.

3. That everyone can be a journalist if… they spend the time gathering the necessary information and elements for storytelling.

4. That my greatest strength as a journalist is…noticing things. (Little details, events, people, etc.)

5. That my greatest challenge as a journalist is… Varying up my leads. They all tend to lean feature-y and when you put them side-by-side they have a similar approach that feels redundant after a while.

6. That the best journalism…prompts people to think and become more engaged in the world around them.

7. That the biggest problem with journalism today is…the reality of the industry; because they are for-profit organizations, there is an inherent competition and need to meet demand that can end up sacrificing some of the ideals of the profession (i.e. being first to cover vs. being accurate in coverage).

8. That the biggest opportunity facing news organizations today is…. a revolution in the way we consume news and perceive its role in society.

9. That a great idea for a new way of delivering news is…. through social media and digital/cyber platforms that are already frequented by diverse demographics.

10. That writing for the general public is… both a privilege and a responsibility. Journalists/media are given the unique opportunity to direct the focus of the public eye; it’s important to recognize the influential power of your role and use it well.

I feel that my beliefs have pretty much stayed the same throughout the class; they were definitely strengthened after all of the discussion with the journalists at the Detroit Free Press, Ben Freed, and others who commented on the relationships between journalists, sources, and the public. I was reminded of all of the things I love about journalism and reporting, and my own reasons for wanting to contribute to the news world. I can see how easy it is to incorporate journalism and writing into whatever it is I decide to do career-wise in the future; just because I chose to pursue a pre med track in lieu of J-school or communications doesn’t mean I have to be done with it forever. I feel that my experiences working in medicine and nonprofit will offer a lot of outlets for writing and topic-specific journalism, and that’s something I am really enthusiastic about.

The class also allowed me to deepen my appreciation for the particular worlds of environmental and public health reporting. The panel discussions were fantastic, and a great reminder of the huge variety of topics encompassed by these labels. To me, the relevance of all of these to everyone in the public audience is very clear, and I think that part of the challenge and fun of reporting on them is finding a way to make people understand that. There is a great opportunity to educate and empower people through this, and that in itself is probably the most rewarding aspect– there is real potential to prompt change.

I look forward to doing more with this over the years, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to rediscover this facet of journalism and writing.

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