As a student journalist and editor for my school newspaper, much of my time is spent in the bowels of a brightly-lit newsroom, during which I am provided the opportunity to escape from the chaotic cacophony of our universe and embark on a journey into a marvelous domain of black-and-white. It is through writing and journalism that I am allowed to exercise my passions without restraint, and since my joining of the paper, I have attended conferences throughout the Northeast, including one in which I represented my state, in Washington, D.C.
Believe me when I say that being a student journalist is, without a doubt, the best job in the entire world. Unlike the average high school student, I am in a position that grants me the power to communicate information to the public. Whether it be through poignant news articles or satirical op-eds, my writing is no longer just a creative outlet, but a civic duty. I write because I wish to inform my audiences about a social issue that may otherwise go unnoticed, but at the same time I do it because I like to have fun in the process. And this does not apply to me alone; student and professional journalists alike are bound by the expectation to educate and expose their audiences to issues that may otherwise go unnoticed. The Malaysian airplane case is a prime example of this. We dominate social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Our faces are among the first you see each morning when you turn on your television as you prepare breakfast or start your car radio as you go to work. Our words and thoughts become etched into your eyes each and every time you read an article. We are the demi-gods of truth.
So given all this, you can imagine how confused I am when people say that journalism is dead.
*Please excuse me while I drive my head into the nearest cement wall*
Okay, I'm back. Now, I consider myself to be a fairly patient person. I hardly lose my temper or my sanity, and I believe in the idea of compromise. But as both a writer and human being, I refuse to stay quiet and allow this malignant lie to flow through the ears and lips of the American population. Because the truth of the matter is that journalism is not dying. It's just changing.
Indeed, there is no use denying that people in the 21st century derive the majority of their information from sites accessed either through social media or smartphones rather than through their Sunday paper. As a result of this change in accessibility to information, journalists have had to adapt to the new notion that information not only has to be widely distributed, but it must also be distributed quickly. People no longer want to read a six-page text box of an event that can be easily described through pictures and a short caption. Reading, as much as I hate to say it, has found a rival in skimming, the latter of which is, quite frankly, the method of choice. While I do believe that journalism should maintain ties with its traditional roots, I am also eager to embrace these changes because I believe in progress. But it seems that I am alone, since many (ignorant) civilians have used this advancement to justify their conspiracy theories that newspapers are evil and that journalists are embezzlers of society (I have had the displeasure of hearing both).
Journalism is in my opinion, one of the most booming fields of our modern day. While medicine and science are being overtaken by computers and laser beams, journalism depends on human interaction. Without journalism, our minds would be rendered dull, incapable of producing creative thought.
While there is no denying that there are some rotten apples in the black-and-white bunch (a.k.a. Fox News, which by the way, my mother interned for as a communications student), journalism as a whole, is a necessary foundation for our society.
So let's respect it a little bit more.