Catchy headline, I know.
So I’ve been working in journalism for the past two and a half years and I absolutely love current affairs. If you had said that to me when I started my degree I would have said don’t be silly, because even though I was studying journalism I had no real interest in watching the news or reading the papers.
I can’t believe I am admitting that but genuinely if it didn’t directly affect me I wasn’t interested. I thought I was going to be a Carrie Bradshaw, writing columns about a wild sex life and fancy designer clothes that I afforded with my witty writing.
It was a wake-up call when I got into my second year of university and started work experience at my local paper. It was then that I realised that no one was going to take my crap. By the end of my work experience I’d been bitten by local news and it poured through me like venom. I wanted to give a voice to the little people. I wanted to tell other people’s stories because my god I was boring.
After two and a bit years at locals I decided I wanted to spread my wings and get my teeth into bigger stories, national stories, international stories if I could.
My job is to report what is going on in the world and not have an opinion on it. It can be really challenging at times to keep schtum about what I really feel and it’s even harder that I have to give a right of reply to everyone, even if I think they are undeserving. But all the while I remember that I want to be a good person and a journalist and although people may not believe me, it can be done.
Yes we invade people’s privacy to some extent and yes we can word things in a dramatic way but believe me when I say we have the public interest at heart.
Would we put these stories out if we didn’t think they would be consumed by the public? We write the stories the masses want to read. We write the stories that people have badgered us to put out. We write the stories that people want to know more about. And you cal say whatever you like about the press, we take some real beatings but we still come to work the next day, put more unpaid hours in than you’ll ever know and we hope to god that at least one person reads it and thinks… “Wow, that was a good read. I’m glad I know that now.”
I consume so much news and have so many conflicting ideas about stories that by the time I finish an article I’m none the wiser as to how I feel.
I also hear and see a lot of horrible things, so much so that my colleague suggested that by the time we retire we will probably have PTSD trying to work through the emotions, gore, conflict we experience in our job. I can completely appreciate that because we really do have to see some horrendous things.
I appreciate that papers have political standings and that the journalists who work at those papers may not agree with what they write but they know the audience and they put their own views on hold for the masses.
I think all I’m trying to say is, next time you go and slag off an article online or blame the press for what they are doing; just think about why you clicked on that story.
Think about why you chose that newspaper.
Think about the amount of content you consume and the time and effort it takes to compile.
Think about the rules and regulation journalists have to work to (there is 17 sections to the editors code, plus media law)
And think about how great it is that we live in a society where there is freedom of the press. We may be confined to rules but they benefit everyone. Read an established news source and stop screaming fake news. If it was that easy to make up a story, I’d be out of a job.