Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Profession:

I applaud Group #3 for this presentation! Everyone who was present and passionate about journalism enjoyed it. You guys did a fabulous job, good work! Personally, I didn’t want it to end. It’s been a long time since I have enjoyed a discussion during class to that extent. Thank-you for your preparation, research, and knowledge.
First, when comparing journalism to a professional priesthood I feel there are some similarities. The Priesthood in the Church is responsible for helping others.In journalism, our first priority is to the public, we give power to the powerless. Our text, The Mind of a Journalist even says we “surrender to the higher calling of serving others,” (13). I think this is a huge plus. Why would you not want a job that helps others?
I feel that a journalist is mostly concerned with getting the facts. We must make our decisions based on logic, not emotion. This can be hard, especially for me. Sometimes, I struggle with separating myself from the story. My heart just goes out to some of the people I have interviewed, and I wish to connect with them and express my sympathy. But, as discussed in class, if you want to really help, put down the notepad. I feel that with the job come many opportunities to help, but while reporting it is important to obtain the facts and get the story, that is our job. I feel that is one of our views that differ with the average person. For example, my main man, Anderson Cooper, has travelled from natural disaster to natural disaster. I was reading his background about some of his experiences and one in particular story stuck out. He spoke briefly about becoming desensitized to the death and fatalities he has seen. I can’t imagine seeing everything that he has, but is there a point where we can become too concerned with the facts and just lose our sense of humanity all together? I think so. I do agree that if we are too close to the story we lose objectivity and it can be emotionally wearing. However, if we are too far we lack understanding and never get the whole story.
Keeping sources confidential is always an interesting aspect of journalism to discuss. There are various factors and players that contribute to keeping a source confidential. As a general rule, I think we should only promise confidentiality we can actually keep that promise. In Washington D.C. it is prevalent to have confidential sources.
We also mentioned in class that the process of shedding a culture and assimilating into another one is called culture immersion and I think it's the best way to understand another culture. On my study abroad to London this past summer I experienced this first hand. It was such an eye opener to be thrown into another atmosphere for two months and learn what defines the English culture. Culture defines what is important to us as journalists and to the public we work for. I don't think we need to tell people how to think, just present the facts and then let them decide for themselves. I don't agree with what was said in class about America being optimistic and the Eastern part of the world being pessimistic regarding journalism. I am not the most knowledgeable on this topic, but it seemed to be a bit of an overgeneralization. However, like I said great presentation.
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