I have been inspired by the Journalism 101 class I’m currently taking. The following essay consists of my own opinions fueled by what I have learned in that class so far. 😀 It is exactly 500 words ughhh….It was hard to shorten what I had originally wanted to say haha. Please don’t fall asleep or give up midway! >.<
After thinking for a few minutes, Rachel turns to the boy next to her and leans her head towards his ear, cupping her hand around her mouth. “I like dogs but not cats, and my birthday is next week.” Aaron, the whole time she speaks rapidly into his ear, has his eyebrows furrowed, trying to understand and remember what she said. When Rachel is done, he smiles and whispers into Taylor’s ear, “I like songs but not Max, and my birthday is next week.” Taylor’s eyes go wide, he snickers, then tells Sarah, “I like socks on my dress, and I think boys are weak.” Five more exchanges go by. The message finally gets to the last person, who announces, “I have a huge crush on Edward, and doughnuts are overrated so I eat steak.”
Often times, like what happened in the Telephone Game scenario, people misinterpret, misunderstand, and even twist truths on purpose. The society has a never-ending need for truth; journalists can help name and frame the reality in their communities so that people can make decisions for themselves in life based on truth.
I believe that a democracy needs journalism and the First Amendment to sustain itself and survive economic trials. Since a democracy is a government by the people and for the people, each person should have the ability to communicate well with others. If the individuals within a democracy cannot manage to do so, the foundation of society would crumble. Communication is a crucial tool in life.
At the heart of every good-standing democracy are humans who work diligently to share opinions and are patient to listen to other values expressed around them. The First Amendment protects journalists in their sharing rights. Before senior year in high school, I had never thought of what career I wanted to pursue. There happened to be a Career Day for the high school students in the second semester. It was mandatory for each of us to shadow a person who held a profession we were interested in. I told my parents about my dilemma. “Well, you like to write, right?” my dad asked. He suggested that I shadow a FOX News reporter friend. I laughed inside. No way would I ever be interested in talking on T.V. for anything. After going through with the shadowing and seeing parts of the FOX41 studio, although I still wasn’t convinced to be a broadcaster, I was inspired to become a journalist. I realized that there is a great need every day for citizens to know and be aware about what happens around them. I wanted to contribute to that cause. I could incorporate my writing skills in articles for a personal touch. As long as authors and reporters continue to display a creative, informative and truthful spirit, people will continue to be engaged in what others have to say. Journalism itself is defended by the First Amendment, and the First Amendment helps make up the base of the U.S. democracy’s values.
1. Now, tell me again, what is your definition of journalism?
~Journalism is an art of communication that lets people know about truth that is around them and encourages them share it with others.
2. How many different models of journalism exist today?
~Public and Civic Journalism are the most popular today. The aim is to solve problems in the community, and with the U.S. economy not doing so well, more journalists are needed to help find and share solutions. Broadcasting online or on T.V. stations is a good example of letting the public know what kinds of problems need to be solved.
3. What is your definition of democracy?
~I think a democracy is a type of government which holds true to the fact that it should exist for the people and be run by the people.
4. What is the difference between “election politics” and “public politics”?
~Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with both of these terms, so please bear with me here. Election politics, in my opinion, deals with potential candidates and the process of the endless races to gain public recognition and a place in a seat of power and authority, whether if it’s in the U.S. government, a position in a university, or something else. I think public politics is all about the community, the opinions expressed and principles introduced and how people deal with them. Forgive me if I am totally off; I am clearly not a fan of politics. ^^
5. What was the Lippmann v. Dewey debate?
~In 1922, two men debated on the role of citizens in the democracy. Lippmann thought a democracy that placed excessive power in the hands of the “mindless” public was too risky and dangerous. Instead, he argued that political representatives (and their advisors) should be the leaders mainly relied on in society based on their experience and expertise. Dewey thought public participation, opinions and input was very crucial to a society. He believed that it was possible, but not easy, to get the public to learn how to live, work and learn amongst and alongside each other. The main point of this debate was to argue if the democracy’s public had the ability to govern itself or not. This question is still raised in debates today.
On the First Amendment
6. What does the First Amendment say exactly?
~ “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
7. Are any of these protections important in your life?
Yes, certainly. I am a Christian, and I want to be able to practice my religious rights freely without oppression. The right to assemble can go along with that. There are other countries that don’t allow people to do that, and for that, I’m blessed to be living in America and be protected under the First Amendment. I want to be a journalist, so, of course the rights of speech and press will be far more important in my life in the near future than it might be now.
8. Everybody keeps talking about diversity: Why is diversity in religion, speech, assembly and petition so important to a democracy?
~People must learn how to work together if they are to live peacefully with each other. Diversity can put the patience and sense of judgment of a person through trials. I think diversity is a big factor in testing how well a democracy can hold itself together and flourish.
Again, I want to remind everyone that this is an OPINION essay. Forgive me of my fail at expressing myself with eloquence! Please comment but no bashing of any kind! 😀 It would be best if comments were restricted to responding to the content rather than the structural aspects of the essay, because this post will stay the way it is. But! even more so, what do YOU think about the question being presented? Thank ye~