Why I Want To Be A Journalist

Why I Want To Be A Journalist

Here’s an excerpt of my writing from 2018. My passion for journalism remains unwavering and something I love to share.

The Fourth Branch

When I was eight years old, my favorite comic book character was Lois Lane, an intrepid reporter who stopped at nothing to find and print the truth.  She risked life and limb following leads with a strength of will I admired more than any superpower her counterpart, Clark Kent, ever possessed. 

Almost every story found her exposing the corrupt practices of people like Lex Luthor, ensuring they wouldn’t be able to hurt the citizens of Metropolis.  I enjoyed every single one of those stories because it was nice to imagine that an ordinary woman could save the world with nothing more than the power of her words.

As much as I loved Lois Lane, I never seriously considered becoming a journalist until high school, where I joined Panther TV, Oswego High School’s broadcasting club (now called 42Fifty).  There, I discovered that broadcast journalism was something I deeply enjoyed. 

Writing, reading, running the cameras and the teleprompter, video editing; every aspect of broadcasting appealed to me in a way nothing ever had before.  I was still hesitant to go into the field, however, because I felt like something was missing. 

Yes, the work was captivating, but to me it lacked meaning: there was no drive for me, no importance.  I knew that I wanted to do something consequential with my life, and, well.  Morning announcements were a far cry from the cutting exposés Lois Lane published in the Daily Planet.   

My passion for journalism blossomed during the 2016 presidential election.  Watching politicians stand up in front of the American people and lie continues to make me furious– sometimes I feel as though I haven’t stopped being angry since June 2016. 

What has kept me going through this past presidential election, and all the time since, is watching outlets such as The New York Times and NPR spend every second working to act as a check on the power and influence of our legislative and executive branches.  In the face of the lies and corruption becoming commonplace in our government, the dissemination of truth is more important now that it has ever been.  

Social media, “fake news,” and dishonest politicians have culminated in a climate of confusion about what is fact and what is fiction.  As a linkage institution, the news media now plays an even more essential role in the function of our society: they provide the truth.  

Acting almost as a fourth branch of government, the news media provides crucial information to the public about what is going on in the world around them, raises awareness about important issues, clarifies complicated matters like tax reform and immigration, and holds government officials accountable for their actions, so U.S. citizens can make informed decisions come election time. 

I want to pursue journalism because I know it will only become more crucial in the coming years to provide the American people with truth, and I want to do my part to uphold our democracy.

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