Ever since I was little, I've been interested in politics. I would watch TV shows and read the newspaper (a little). I also tried to form my own opinions and not base my views off the people around me, like my mom and other family members. It was always irritating to me that kids in school would be so vocal about issues they didn't know about. Personally, I always try to keep my political views relatively private while in conversation with peers because I know that many of us are too young to get into the deep topics.
While I had always been into politics, I have always been wary of becoming a politician. I just don't know if I'm cut out for it. On the other hand, I have always enjoyed writing, so to me, becoming a political analyst or political journalist seemed like possible futures for me.
My life was changed in the seventh grade when I read All The President's Men by Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. To me, it was political journalism at it's finest. I was impressed with the professionalism they maintained and their quest for the truth while maintaining integrity. It was then I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to be Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.
After I was first inspired, I researched the Watergate Scandal and their part in uncovering it. I read their follow-up book, The Final Days, which was published after Mark Felt's death. Mark Felt, if you didn't know, was the man revealed to be Deep Throat, the number two at the FBI who became the anonymous informant for Woodward. I saw the movie version, starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, which dramatized their reporting but inspired me anyway.
It was after seeing CNN report false information, and Fox News report stories from biased and incorrect sources, that I realized that politics and journalism had become something I never wanted part of. I had been so focused on what Woodward and Bernstein had been writing 40 years ago that I never took the time to realize that news outlets were becoming tabloids. The major networks that had been my initial inspiration to tell the truth were breaking scandal rather than informing viewers of actual news. Television is a ratings war -- it's not about the content but rather about who can get 25 million people to watch.
Maybe I'm naive, or maybe I'm just not cut out for my seventh grade dream anymore. Regardless of what my future holds for me, I know that the world is constantly changing and what may have worked 40 years ago may be outdated when people can get text alerts about the latest 'breaking news.' Just don't forget to form your own opinions and and to always maintain dignity when breaking a real story.
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