This semester has opened my eyes to a entire new world.
I have had a small glimpse into the life of a journalist. From daily news stories to live reporting to field reporting. Everything takes a lot of work and a lot of commitment.
We started out learning about Dan Eldon, a war photographer. Dan is among many that wish to get the truth out to the world. They risk their lives every single day they’re out in the war zone capturing pictures of children with blown off limbs and men getting beheaded in the middle of an intersection.
They are constantly being shot at. Bullets fly right by their heads on a normal basis. Bombs are exploding feet away from them. There lives are always in danger.
War photographers and journalists know what is at stake as well as the dangers that are in front of them, but their courage and motivation is beyond anything most are willing to do.
Live interviewing over the phone has to be one of the most difficult things I’ve experienced.
We had called up Anelia’s friend Megan Terlecky to get her reaction on the recent on air shooting of a news reporter that had occurred.
Asking her questions and getting her responses instantaneously all while having to type everything she’s saying is a difficult task. Having to anticipate something critical that she’s going to say that will be interesting to a reader is definitely a talent…..and its a talent I don’t have.
I kept missing words here and there. She would speak quickly at some points and I wouldn’t be able to keep up in order to get a direct quote.
Even though she was providing excellent responses, I couldn’t get down her words in a proficient and correct way.
Field journalism had to be my favorite method that we learned this semester.
Being able to actually be at the location personally adds so much more depth to a story. The details can freely flow into the journalists mind due to experiencing the situation first hand.
While we were at the Greenwood Cemetery, not only were we learning about important people from history, but we were learning the culture of the community in which we reside.
It was something that an out of towner like myself enjoyed to learn about.
However, field reporting can be dangerous as well. Such as the incident that we spoke to Megan about.
Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were shot during a live report. They were attacked by Bryce Williams, a former employee of the same news station Parker and Ward worked for.
They were encompassed in the story they were reporting to viewers and didn’t even notice a man walking up to them with a gun.
Since it was live, the viewers saw what happened on air.
The incident immediately spread across the nation to not only the public, but to other reporters that were out doing their live shots as well.
Journalism doesn’t always involve words.
Photography plays a large part of journalism as well. Journalists can speak a thousand words through a single photo.
As we saw with Dan Eldon and his war photographs, there are journalists that take photos of the after effects of global disasters, presidential campaigns, deaths and births.
Photographs are a visual undergrowth that we take for granted
Photos bring different eras into today. They can bring together generations. They can show the difference in the generations.
We’ve seen history being made with the desegregation of schools. We’ve seen photos of JFK being shot….as well as his brother. We were able to forever see the face of MLK giving his speeches. The iconic face of Malcolm X is forever in history thanks to photographs.
Future generations are able to put a face to a name when we teach them about important people in history thanks to photo journalism.
Journalists are able to follow along with some of their favorite interests by writing about things they enjoy.
Politics are covered by political journalists and they can even become white house correspondents.
Sports has an entire genre of journalism thanks to the likes of ESPN that runs like your local news station would, except you won’t get the weather and you won’t find out if your favorite weiner dog won the dog show. Instead, you’ll get al current and past information on your favorite players. Are they playing tonight? Are they injured? Were they arrested yet again?
They even have segments that get on a personal level with athletes and coaches and every other sports worker that we could possibly think of.
Getting information out to the world is an important job. Its not for the faint of heart.
It takes a lot of courage, strength, and coffee to get stories out to the world. Its a calling just like any other profession and its not meant for everybody. It takes a certain personality and a certain aspiration to be in the field of journalism.
Journalist don’t do it for the pay (the little pay), or for the fame, or for the popularity.
They do it for the people. They want the people to be informed. They want the people to be aware of what is going on in their community, their nation, and the world.
Journalism is also the only profession that is protected by law. The freedom of press is under the first amendment of the constitution. You don’t see doctors or lawyers in the constitution, you see journalists.
They have the right to get knowledge out to the people.
Journalists keep the world connected. We wouldn’t know what was happening without them.
So, goodbye to the semester. It has been a long journey but the appreciation for journalists will always be etched into our hearts.