Back in the day, student journalists would venture out into their localities, interviewing any citizens willing to share their lives and experiences through the might of pen and paper. After five days of editing, lo and behold, a new story would stand for the local papers to print. From the moment they were picked up in the front yard, these stories would be read by passers-by, family members and guests. So would begin the aftermath of a journalist’s work - the gift of giving the public the right to know. This is what journalism is founded on.
Today we hear the call of ‘free food’ and with the swift typing of our fingers, we can discover ten articles and videos about Krispy Kreme’s astonishingly low discounts, or Seven-Eleven’s free slushies on November 7 every year.
This widespread circulation of news is thanks to the journalists of today, staying on track with current affairs and delivering them to us as if we were sitting right next to them chanting ‘What’s new?’.
That is what you have the ability to do. To converse with others you know, and even those you don’t. To update and inspire, helping the communities of today make informed decisions about the actions to be carried out tomorrow.
And while the medium of information delivery and collection might have evolved from pen and paper to include blog posts and Snapchat stories, the eyes of a journalist still have the same vision. They look to inquire, discover and share the truth we are entitled to.
There’s many different ways of doing so - here’s a few for you.
1. Digital Journalist: Sports, Health, Current Affairs, Politics…you name it. You can start off broadly, before specialising in your area of expertise to create online articles for e-publications.
2. Reporter: travel near or abroad to conduct interviews, hold information sessions and provide insight into the lives of others through their words and your questions.
3. Photojournalist: are you artistic, talented and in possession of a trained eye for detail? Capture stories through your camera, for a picture is indeed worth a thousand words!
4. Writer: tell stories anonymously as a ghost writer, or become a freelance novelist in any genre you are passionate about - your works could attract major publication companies.
So, what type of journalist do you want to be?
I’ll leave that to you and the very near future waiting to be explored…
All the best!
By Sean Mortell