December 3, 2018
As the fall semester begins to wind down, I am getting some answers from students as to why they chose journalism as a career. The answers are an insight into the future of this profession, and I dare to say the future is bright. Many students see journalism as a way to improve society. It is more of a public service than a self-serving rise to fame. They want to tell stories that matter.
When asked what is the role of journalists in today’s society the answers ranged from, “holding the powerful accountable, “to “giving a voice to those too afraid to speak up for themselves.” The students are curious about the world around them and want to make it better for future generations.
I see this passion in the assignments turned into class, the student who looked at the opioid crisis through the lens of a solution. Talking to sober houses and former addicts about the ways to combat the stigma of needing treatment. Another student writing about the gender gap in higher education, going beyond covering a meeting and instead talk with a woman who is considering the field and what solutions they would recommend.
Our class discussions about the political environment, how to write about it, and what really matters have been enlightening. The old adage if it bleeds it ledes seems to be gone, the impact to a community is the most important factor.
The students look at news and current events in a different way than seasoned journalists. Just think about this, they do not know a world without mass shootings. They do not remember life before 9-11. Going through a metal detector is normal. Same-sex marriage is normal. If you take the time to listen to this generation, and their perspective, it may change your way of thinking. I know it did mine.
The journalists of the future want to tell the truth, earning the trust of their community, and expose corruption. These are not bad goals and leaves me to have faith and hope in the future of journalism.