To some of us, journalism is a "game". To others, it’s a "hobby". To the rest, it’s a profession. For a smaller group, journalism is "life." Those who dedicate their ‘lives’ to journalism find it challenging to divide their identity as individuals and journalists. However, doing serious journalism, which demands commitment and perseverance, has become a major challenge in the age of #FakeNews.
Even finding publications that are genuinely committed to improving the standards of the industry has become a struggle. I come from a country of 80 million people, in which the most popular newspaper, at best, is able to sell 400,000 copies a day. In the United States, there are newspapers as prestigious as The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, which are becoming increasingly exclusionary in terms of their approach to current affairs, national security and international relations.
The size of their audience, online and in print, amounts to millions. But that doesn’t change the reality that it’s the current President of the United States who calls media ‘Enemy of the People.’ In Britain, where I study, I find the situation almost better than much of the developed world when it comes to press freedoms. However, is regulating the press the best way to fight fake news? I tend to disagree. The answer is regulating our way of thinking that extinguishes the distribution of fake news and silences people such as Donald Trump who win elections thanks to the media that empower them, and end up being cursed!
As the new academic year has begun, I'd like to summarise the best of my journey so far, doing a one-year master's in International Multimedia Journalism, based on the words of wisdom I've heard from great lecturers who are still teaching me...
1- Students should be polite but don't be afraid to ask questions. Follow this advice. (I followed this advice really seriously and then gradually developed the reputation of a polite and pushy student, which unluckily finally cost my own public image and personal reputation).
2- Centre for Journalism is a serious school of journalism. My lecturers really mean what they say. Even as a practicing journalist, I had never in my life been on the receiving end of this much workload! But it doesn't mean that that seriousness will cost your health. They are flexible and understanding under certain circumstances.
3- Don't ask so many people for apologies. In the age of Brexit, people start to ask so many people for apologies, but then they start to realise they are/were getting it wrong! We know that in the age of Brexit, it's difficult to do journalism. But try not to focus on Brexit too much. There are other interesting and important things to think about, including the upcoming announcement of Nobel Prize winners 2017!
-- One wins respect for what one can do, not by insisting on the use of a title.