What Journalism Means To Me

Ricoya Black

 

“I believe that if your aim is to change the world, journalism is a more immediate short-term weapon.” – Tom Stoppard

When people think about journalism, the first thing that usually comes to mind is a newspaper that was thrown into their yard on a Saturday morning or the annoying reporter who would stop at nothing until he got a statement from that one celebrity. But while print and interviewing constitute a huge part of journalism, it is so much more than that. 

Journalism allows people to be better educated about the world around them through a range of news, opinion, the arts, and more. Journalism provides people with understandable information that would not have been as clear otherwise. I am a firm believer that words, if put in just the right order and context can cause significant changes in one’s mindset and/or perspective for the better. Whether it be through print or through speech, journalism can have an impact people in life altering ways. A well written or delivered news story about the ill treatment of women in the workplace can convert even the most sexist person into a feminist. In the same sense, an opinion story written with utmost passion about why God is real can convert the multitude to belief. But that is not even half of it.

 Journalism is the voice of the voiceless. As a young, black female, it came to my attention as early as the third grade that there are certain types of individuals who are not as regarded as others when it comes to basic human rights and such. These groups of individuals include children and teenagers, minority groups, women, those in poverty, immigrants, the mentally ill, etcetera. Journalism is the platform that is capable of and that has been shedding light on the issues that have affected, are currently affecting or have the potential to have an impact on these parties as well as other disregarded parties within societies. In highlighting these issues through such a large platform, awareness is raised and the process of the solving of these issues can begin. If it were not for journalism and its constant publicizing of the gruesome circumstances that many people face, certain issues would most likely not have been fixed, and it is because of journalism that we have the assurance that those who do not possess a voice within society will never fight their battles on their own, but that they will have an entire platform fighting for them and supporting them in getting the results that they deserve. 

My desire is to become an agent of society who will aid in instilling people’s knowledge of what really matters in the world, and to change people’s point of view of the world for the better. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself, something as big as being the voice of people who either do not have a voice in society or refrain from using it due to the fact that doing so will not effectuate any significant changes. Through journalism, I can help others to become more aware of their rights. I can advocate for them and articulate their views on matters that they would otherwise remain silent about. Journalism is going to be the vehicle that ultimately drives my self – actualization as well as my contribution to society. It is so important to me that I have decided to make a career out of it.