Over the last couple of years or so I started hating “journalism”, mostly in our own media. It had become fashionable to just follow celebrates about and snap them from behind bushes or report on how they tripped up on an evening out with some friends and had smiled at someone which obviously indicated a sordid affair was going on whilst the poor partner was presumably sat at home tending to the kids. Everyone feeding off misery and spurning high hitting posts out of it. Then the outrageous hate inciting articles. Then the outraged commenting furiously on the outrageous. The counter arguments. Even reputable community centric sites were at it with a not so subtle change of direction leaning towards reporting on celeb-dom life.
It was as if this was now what journalism was about. Just being a bully and taking the piss out of everyone before someone else got there first. As if the Daily Fail formula is what keeps the hits coming in and I guess, sadly, shows what makes people tick. Of course, it was partly my own fault for being a gullible click baitee and being outraged at the Daily Fail on a regular basis. I just couldn’t not look though. How scary are some people out there in the world? And I mean the commenters, not the articles.
Then came the latest Israel Gaza conflict and, aside from the numerous protests of biased reporting in the media, a big group of individuals have shone through and shown what journalism is really about. Now I bet news correspondents based in war zones must get paid an absolute fortune with all sorts of perks and benefits. After all, it’s a life and death situation and a handful have already been killed along the way. But in those situations all the money in the world just wouldn’t cut it. It would have to be about something more. A real passion for the job. A determination to get the truth out there and report on what they see even if their life depends on it. Even with the padded safety jackets on branded with a large “Press” across the front and back, it can only protect them against light gun fire, right?
Over the last few weeks they’ve reported amongst sheer carnage, kept up to date with everything going on around them, reported it all via different social mediums and, in some cases, even tried to help civilians get help or aid as needed. I’ve seen a few cases of them really professionally handling and batting away abuse as some accuse of fabrication or exaggerating the truth. And also handling interviews in the most firm and direct way possible, making even the most steel-spined representatives squirm in their seats. Some have been lifted out for daring to report on what is not the party line whilst others.
With the rapid advance of social media journalism has had to evolve with it and maintain a high level of integrity in order to remain credible. Newspapers are not the only source of finding out whats going on in the world. Its now a lot easier to see through rubbish or biased reporting as a fury of updates on any given social network will quickly show you what’s actually happening. I now use Twitter for my news and have become very cynical about some of the media bias at large news corporations. I’ve learned over time that its hard to write an article from sitting on the fence all the time. Sometimes you have to have a slant and sometimes you have to take a side, even in the nicest possible diplomatic way. Its the only way to report whats right from whats wrong.
I’ve decided I would make a really crap journalist or news reporter. I wouldn’t be calm and collected. I would probably just get angry and shout at the camera, fear for my life constantly and maybe eventually cry that I couldn’t handle it anymore. Obviously its not for everyone but the interesting thing is that a lot of these journalists are not just highly driven individuals. A lot of them have a family of their own. They are grounded people with an impressive ability and care for reporting what’s going on right now. They’re the ones that help bring the awareness to the masses whilst daring to question the actions of what are meant to be the leaders of our world.
And that’s what it should be to be a good journalist.
This particular video is probably one I won’t forget in a while. Jon Snow is pretty fantastic isn’t he?