The elements of journalism that we have discussed thus far have given me a greater awareness of the different ways a journalist can carry out his or her own work. Some of the ways I wish to share are 1) the opportunity that allows you to find out information on someone or something, 2) the availability of reporting an article at a wide range, and 3) the ideals that a journalist can work with.
As a journalist, you have the opportunity to go out and interview to make known information that would possibly be otherwise unknown. Being a journalist can be a sense of empowerment because you can be seen as someone that is giving a voice to the voiceless. It is not that those you interview do not have a voice to speak for themselves. It is rather that, as journalist, you are able to make the information you gather available at a much wider range, as opposed to the range of someone who may not have the means to do so.
I can see the benefit in this opportunity as a journalist with the experience I had on the article about the chain and mace. People who read this article may not have known much about the two objects and may have only seen them at the Mount Angel Seminary graduation ceremony in the Abbey Church. The possibility that a journalist has in getting to know new information about things or about others and then making it known may draw all of us closer to the things or the people that surround us in our every day lives. This leads me to my next point.
With the book on the elements of journalism, I learned about "the beats" and the "map." With a map about this seminary, you are able to see if you are focusing evenly on a variety of subjects. We used the seminary as an example for a map during class. In class, we checked what kinds of particular fields of interest we have focused more on with our articles. We also noted those areas in the seminary where we need to cover more.
This provides an opportunity to get to know more about a janitor, for example, or even the seminary basketball team and giving a voice to "the voiceless." Though we could not work on the whole seminary map because of time constraints, there was, nevertheless, potential in the use of the map: teachers, students, workers, and other who are part of this seminary community could be more recognized.
The documentary we watched [Page One: Inside the New York Times], in addition to the books for the class, put journalism on a higher scale than where it used to be in my life. One example that I feel I can continue using from journalism is the discipline of verification when I write: attributing things to my source, discontinuing generalizations, and verifying the facts. In conclusion, all the elements that the book mentions that are ideals a journalist should strive to live by give me confidence that I will objectively be able to take part in the use of the media.
Now, I desire to take recourse to these books we used in class and continue getting to know my own role as a citizen in the midst of all the media. As journalism is meant to empower the citizen by giving him or her the means to acquire an organized collection of information, so too do I now feel empowered having taken this class. The presentation we [the journalism class] did for Theology on the Hill now feels like icing on the cake for this class because I was able to show others what I have learned from this class. Thank you for this opportunity to reap the benefits of journalism.