Honestly, I used to have a negative view of media and the news. I still barely read the news, but here I am, writing for a newspaper.
After years of watching my grandfather sitting in his recliner, leaned back, yelling at the television because the Republicans were doing this or the Democrats were doing that, I started to tune it out. After years of turning on the early morning news before jumping in the car to go to elementary school and hearing about the day’s mass shooting and terrorist attack, I began to change the channel.
I am a very optimistic person by nature. In fact, Positivity is one of my top strengths on the Clifton StrengthsFinder Test. The news seemed to highlight the worst in people and always left me feeling almost depressed by the latest stories of disaster and conflict.
However, in my very first introduction to journalism course, we were told that the news is supposed to cover what is out of the ordinary, what grabs people’s attention. This stuck with me. Maybe what we see on the news, isn’t everything that is going on. Maybe, we can find rest in that what we see on television isn’t “normal”.
Then I began to think, “What would the world be like if we all remained ignorant to the more painful parts of our world?” Nothing would change. No one would be called to action for good to counteract these wrongs.
Nothing about the motives or composition changes when you sweep an object under the rug, except it’s out of view for the time being. Jesus calls us to boldly step out in faith and call out unrighteous acts, that we may spur each other on in the way that is righteous. Thinking about it in this perspective, the motivation for news falls more in line with this command than I originally gave it credit. The news keeps us accountable. It sheds light on the things that were once in the dark, and I now believe this as a good thing.
Reporting accurate and truth about the facts of our society has the power to create change for good. That is the reason I am writing. If I can make some change for the good of the majority, I feel like that is a worthy motivation for journalism.
Journalism doesn’t always revolve around the negatives in society, though. Sometimes journalists cover extraordinary advancements that will benefit society for the greater good or stories of extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. These stories have the power to inspire and shed light on good in the world.
So for these reasons, I have learned to trust more in the journalistic process and how a news story makes it to my television. The news is there not to discourage us into not doing anything, but rather encourage us to do something.