Monday, April 14, 2008

That's what it's all about ....

No, I'm not talking about the hokie pokie. I'm talking about journalism. To my Link 222 peers, what does journalism mean to you? What drives you to do your job?

I rented All the President's Men with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman over the weekend. I wanted to feel their hunger for getting the story of Watergate even before they knew it was such a vast story with a huge impact. I watched it in front of my friends to share with them a little bit about what journalism is all about -- how we can help give people a window into what they need to see.

I mistakenly watched Resurrecting the Champ last night. I say that because I thought it was a boxing movie and didn't pay much attention to the box in the movie store. I'm totally buying it now and I will probably add this to the same collection of insightful journalism stories such as the previous movie. I don't want to give anything away about the story but it definitely shows the full spectrum of experiences a journalist can have, about wanting to share a story that should be told, yet not finding any takers. I also like how the main character dabs at the broadcast lifestyle and realizes he doesn't want to change his passion towards that direction. I absolutely recommend it for my journalist peers.

Even before I watched these movies, I had been recently reminded of what journalism is all about -- for me. It's about sharing stories of those whose stories need to be told. I was able to do a story in a round-about way of a similar situation that one of my family members has experienced. I felt honored to be able to tell two people's stories even though only one was mentioned in the story.

One of my proudest moments as a journalist happened early in my career when I wrote about a local event for an organization that supports those who are mentally ill. They gave us a news release and I decided to attend the event and write a story. After it was over, I wrote the story and moved forward. The gentleman who originally gave us the press release stopped by the office later and told me that he carried the article around in his pocket and pulls it out when he is having a bad day because it reminds him that people actually care about him and his cause.

For me, THAT's what it's all about.


Ashley Northington said...

You are exactly right. As journos we (attempt) to give people a window so they can view what the need to see.

It's even better when you get to right about something you absolutely love like I do.

I'm glad you know our purpose and have shared it with others. Though I've never seen these movies, I'm down for a viewing party. Let me know...

Stephanie Bemrose said...

I'm always up for social events outside of the work environment, and I enjoy conversations about work-related experiences, too. I mean, I love my job, but I like fun time, too!

Donecia Pea said...

Cool topic Steph! Hmmm, I'm trying to figure out which answer to give to this question, lol.

No, I'm just kidding. Y'all have pretty much summed up my answer.

I've always been most fascinated with the very aspect of journalism that you described - the opportunity to give someone a voice or provide a clearer picture of subjects or issues that affect people whether it pertains to education, laws, entertainment or whatever else.

However, do you feel your passion has remained the same as the industry has changed and continues to change? For better or for worse?


Check out Live From Baghdad, Harrison's Flowers, Shattered Glass,and Under Fire for more inspiration...great flicks!

Stephanie Bemrose said...

Donecia, I don't think my passion has changed. I mean, it ebbs and flows sometimes with the monotony of the job once in awhile. But I just try to re-energize myself every once in awhile with these stories that I really want to do and that I really think make a difference. Those help me keep my passion alive and understand that I can do more than just pay the bills through my role as a journalist.

Greg, thanks. I'll be looking for those titles in stores or online.