Thursday, January 7, 2010

What Is Journalism? Who Is A Journalist?

This is my first assignment for my Principles of Journalism and Management Communications classes. It reminds me of something Socrates might ask a Broadcast Journalism student. He was known to pose simple, yet complex questions to people regarding the heart of what they study. For instance, he would ask lawyers, "What is ethics?" or artists, "What is beauty?" I assume he was trying to question their real knowledge in their chosen field. He would ask questions, and in turn hope that would create more questions. There it is - The Socratic Method. So now, as a budding broadcast student, it is my turn. I learn something new about my major each day, so I don't claim to be an expert, or anything close to it. Nevertheless, here is my best attempt.

I feel that journalism is ever changing, especially in today's world with new technology and mass media. Journalism is the skill of conveying news and information through different mediums, including television, newspapers, magazines, radio, and the Internet. It is the process of gathering information, performing intense research - sometimes on a time crunch, and presenting it to the public in a way that will be informative and beneficial to them. In a way, it enables the public to stay free and self-governing. It is the government's watchdog. And a journalist is someone who seeks the truth, does everything in their capacity to find it, and then presents it in a timely, interesting manner. This may sound broad and maybe even vague. But from my personal, extremely amateur experience, broadcast journalism is so much more than that. It's finding compelling, significant story ideas. It's researching, learning about the topic. It's calling, conducting interviews, filming. And that's just the beginning. Then, writing conversationally. Then voicing, editing. And finally, going live and telling your viewer to listen up - this is what I've been working on all day - and here's why it's important to you. So, there...as of now, this is what I want to do with my life! Hopefully you find that satisfactory, Socrates.
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