As I'm sitting here, right about sunset, the blood-red light illuminating the walls of my room, I keep pondering over the reason of the brutality and treachery of man. For years now, we have been more and more flooded with news, do we like it or not, combined with the effect of the events themselves. Be it the growing-up-factor or just beginning to see the big picture, right outside the frames, of the news â€“ from Putin's elections to prince Harry's clubbing â€“ my idealistic approach to Journalism as a saviour has started to decrease. Reverse result of what was dreamed, ironically.
Surprisingly enough, it still makes me wonder why did I go for Journalism myself. The career? The money? The investigative side? Controversy? Highly doubt it. What possible reason could there be for me to sacrifice myself to long hours, often low-paid, nerve-wrecking stress and many dangerous assignments? Purely the idealistic drift cant be sufficient to keep me in my self-rape heading, can it?
â€œJournalism is more than an exciting profession. At its best, by defining what millions believe and holding power to account, it informs and reinforces democratic values. At its worst it distorts and manipulates, so eroding the distinction between truth and falsehood and promoting prejudice.â€ - The University of Kent website
Yes, it can. The idealistic idea of Journalism is so subtle and powerful it takes stupidity to actually confront this issue - by thinking about it. It is the questions like â€œwhy am I doing this?â€ and â€œhow am I supposed to do this?â€ which distract reporters and Doctors of Journalism from work, as they're being shot at or are solving some humongous election-scam. So is Journalism a search for excitement and adrenaline, or just money through a story?
This general perception now â€“ that Journalism is dangerous and must include shock-value to change the world (or even just to be read) â€“ has transformed the trade from 'informative' to 'just another drama-show on the TV'. From photo-editing to 'yellow' newspapers, when stripped, it all revolves around hard currency. Nobody seems to really care anymore, not about the news nor the quality.
Our modern-day Journalism has two errors: over-coverage (however, a whole other matter arises from our technology and skills to filter news, which has been adjusting itself to match the progress) and excessive guidelines combined with modern technology (amateur Journalism combined with the digital-era). These both have helped to the final, steady and slow decline of the trade, what few still consider important. It has turned to Internet, low-quality images, horrible grammar and arrogant attitude towards decency â€“ who needs any online anyways? Agreed - innovation and progress are important, but what are we sacrificing?
Could this be the reason why people around me seem ignorant of shocking news like Putin's power-play and the mere fact of Europe's dependency on, oh-so pretty much everyone else (OPEC, Russia, Brazil)? Why news-channels now have McDonald's commercials and episode-trailers in between? Is the 'hide your head in the sandpit' the best description of the intellectually crippled generations now growing up, taking their opinions and principles from distorted, propaganda-like news sources? Is this the reason why major problematic issues, like Russia's ego-maniac-spike has been ignored? Many questions, few answers. Few, at best â€“ correction.
The power of Journalism has not been realised only recently â€“ propaganda was the second thing to be printed, right after the Bible (or the first then...?). That said, it is hard to imagine a perfect news-reel: be it national, share-holders or company-owned â€“ someone will still be able and will use it to their own good. The best and last example â€“ the presidential race of the USA 2008. â€œWas Obama made blacker in a commercial!?â€
Obscene, I say.
â€œThe reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.â€ - George B. Shaw
I admit, that I might be stuck in old traditions that cannot keep up with progress and need updating. Progress would definitely match with the growing problem of over-exposure â€“ we make things easier to be selected out of a haystack, over-exposure is just how much bigger the selection gets. People get what people want. But does that mean they can ignore what they should know? The oil-dependency, sabotage of electric-powered cars, nuclear race, net neutrality, etc â€“ is news so much about currency that these can just be covered up (yet still many seem to know â€“ the power of internet?)? Has Freedom of speech turned into a simple form of prostitution?
By now, I have rather forgotten what I originally wanted to talk about. Political tensions in Europe and related, leading it in with Journalism â€“ most likely. What surprises me, however, is that I have no possible answers or solutions to these questions I have posed. Any other extreme of what we have now would be even more horrible. The part called 'medium' is rarely accepted in our capitalistic, business-regulated world. And proudly (hopefully) I will soon become a microscopic part of the industry, to be able to interpret it and get a clue of things. I'll see you soon, on the other side.
What could I do? What could we do? The world does seem such a horrible place, that can't help but peek at the sandpit, and see it rather tempting...
Why did you choose Journalism? What do you expect out of it?