“Courage in Journalism”

24Oct11

When browsing the news for possible posts I came across this article, and it made me begin thinking about an aspect of journalism that seemed to be overlooked throughout the readings. The article acknowledges that four female journalists are being honored this evening in L.A. for their courage to “risk their lives to cover news in their countries” (Biddle). In analyzing the ever changing definitions of what constitutes as real “journalism” and who counts as a real “journalist”, it seems the focus is primarily on a few key points: 1) more content yields less diverse news and 2) imitation and access to information basically allows everyone and anyone who wishes to be a “journalist” to some extent. While these topics of focus are clearly affecting the professional atmosphere of journalism and have undoubtedly caused major changes to the very structure of the occupation, the Huffington Post article brings to light those individuals who devote their life to the profession and are passionate about their “responsibility to behave in certain ways” as journalists, which “separates them from who do not share [that responsibility]” (Singer, 106). The article mainly focuses on the bureau chief for Reuters in Iran and the many hardships she endured in order to report on the violent protests in Iran following the 2009 election.

The readings certainly made me think about how increasingly easy and simple it is to become a “journalist” of sorts right at home from your computer, or how content is becoming less diverse, as more and more journalists employ the “monitor and imitate” practices, as discussed by Boczkowski. However, what I didn’t really think about while reading them is the attention and respect those journalists like the four from the article really deserve. Not only do these women and their stories represent the minority in the journalistic profession, as the chapters pointed out…they also bring to light an important aspect of journalism that only a select group of journalists who are completely dedicated and passionate about the job can and are willing to accomplish – that is, doing whatever it takes, including risking their lives in times of struggle, to get to the source of the information and to fulfill their “responsibility” to provide accurate news to the public.

This may not be directly related to the readings, but I thought it was an interesting perspective to bring up. Among all these changes in definition and structure of the journalism world, I think it’s important to recognize those that are truly passionate professionals who take their job as a journalist really seriously. I think it’s only right to give them recognition and appreciation in a time when anyone can become a “journalist” overnight.

-Annie

 

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