A Much Deserved Tribute to Journalism

After completing my visit to the Newseum today, I feel like twice the journalist I was before. Not because of my ability to write or my knowledge of news, but because of my understanding of what it means to be a journalist.

Every day, we see headlines on the news about terrible things happening in far away places. These news channels have been staples in our lives since as long as we can remember, and they seem like commonplace. But they aren’t.

We take this news for granted, because we don’t stop and think about where it is coming from. At least I never have, until now.

The “International Free Speech” exhibit at the Newseum opened my eyes to what journalists mean to the world. They are there to entertain, but more importantly they are there to inform. To see how many journalists have been captured, imprisoned, and even executed in horrifying ways… Man, that really struck me. 

We don’t think about it, because we are watching it on a screen, or reading it on a piece of paper, all from the comfort of our wonderful nation. But think about this: if it weren’t for journalists that are so passionate about informing the public about what is going on in our world, we would literally have no way of knowing. An example is North Korea, where the only news anybody receives is from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (yes they call it democratic), which filters and prepares the news in order to provide their people with only what they want them to know. That is their people’s reality. That is what they think is going on in the world. The most exciting breaking news that the citizens of North Korea receive is which movie Kim Jong Un is going to watch tonight.

This trip to the Newseum has shown me that journalism is much more than a job. It is a duty, but even more so, it is a public service. Yes, journalists get paid, but when you think about the magnitude of what they do, there is no amount of money that can compensate the time and safety that they sacrifice. Of course there are much safer forms of journalism, such as sports or economics, but the reals news writers–they are heroes.

So the next time you are chatting with your friends about ISIS, or discussing the possibility of a war with Russia, think about journalists. Think about the men and women that have risked their freedom and even their lives in order to provide you with the topics for those conversations. In our capitalistic society journalism is not seen as a particularly prestigious occupation or a highly lucrative job, but the truth is, for many journalists, their job could cost them everything.

Advertisements
  1. #1 by aulstad15 on January 23, 2015 - 3:42 am

    I really liked this post! I felt the same way about visiting the Newseum. Though I’m not a journalist I found myself walking away with such a deep and powerful respect for people who are, especially those who put themselves at risk to do so. One of the main ways I saw this in the museum was in the 9/11 exhibit. The video/documentary that was playing was fascinating because of the personal interviews and accounts of what it was truly like for a journalist that day. I also agree with what you said about how a lot of us don’t really think about where our news comes from, if we read it at all. It’s nice to have museums like this dedicated to something we should all be aware and appreciative of. I was thinking about how much I was enjoying this museum as a non-journalist, I bet it was so awesome to see as someone already involved in the school newspaper! I’m glad you enjoyed the museum so much!

  2. #2 by aquiteexpectedjourney on January 23, 2015 - 4:01 am

    Thanks for the comment Allie, its powerful to the hear that this kind of thing matters to somebody not involved in journalism. But then again as they say “je suis Charlie” in America we are all journalists 🙂

  3. #3 by aquiteexpectedjourney on January 23, 2015 - 4:01 am

    Thanks for the comment Allie, its powerful to the hear that this kind of thing matters to somebody not involved in journalism. But then again as they say “je suis Charlie” in America we are all journalists

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: