Journalists are here to help

Michaela Lumpert, Campus Carrier Deputy News Editor

This semester, I started one of the first required classes for my journalism major: Reporting and Writing. I was so excited to finally learn the official basics on how to conduct an interview, gather information, and write a story. I have worked for the Carrier for a few months now, so I felt like I was going to have an easier time in the class because I had already been practicing the basics of being a journalist. Nonetheless, I was excited to receive the formal rules and education of journalism.

Starting the class made me own up to the idea that I would one day become a journalist. Being a journalist always scared me. I would have to go out into the real world, talk to people I didn’t even know, and ask them questions about topics I had very little understanding of. But the more I started to get involved with the Carrier, the more I realized that this was my calling.

I was also scared because I didn’t want to be viewed a certain way because of my career. A lot of people in the world have a negative view of journalists. We are often called horrible names and considered pesky people because we are always trying to stay on top of the news and what is going on.

Not only that, but the people lack trust in journalists. They believe that we are often hiding information and lying about what we are saying just so that we can make money and get ahead. Unfortunately, there are many out there who practice journalism just for personal gain rather than committing to the idea that journalists serve the public and not themselves.

I went into the Reporting and Writing class with these thoughts swirling around my head, making me second guess my choice of major and career.

But from day one of this class, my perspective has completely changed. We are living in a new age of journalism, one where we are constantly fact-checking every single source and tip we receive. One where journalists are transparent, letting everything air out in the open. One where we are slowly trying to change the looming perspective that hangs over every new journalist. For too many years there has been a consistent negative connotation that follows just the word “journalist”, and it’s time to change that negative connotation.

I hope that in this ever-changing society the negativity associated with journalists will start to fade. In a perfect world, all journalists would tell the truth and not write stories just for personal gain. Unfortunately, we are far from a perfect world, but for now this new age of journalists can begin to make their impact.

One of the biggest ideas that I have taken away from this class is what it means to be a journalist. It basically means someone who gathers, assesses, creates and presents news and information to the public.

Because at the end of the day, journalists shouldn’t be working for themselves and their personal gain, they should be working for the public.

Not every journalist is out to get someone or take someone down. Most of them are just trying to write the news and provide an unbiased story of the details that occurred in an event. That’s what I hope to accomplish in my life as a journalist.

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