AN OVERVIEW OF JOURNALISM
In France, these past years have confirmed a profound hostility, if not hatred, towards journalists. A century and half after Zola and his peers established the prestige of journalism in the country, the golden era is long gone. Mere citizens and politicians have cultivated distrust as regards to the media as a poll made by Le Parisien – Aujourd’hui en France newspapers shows in 2014 (less than a half of the population trust the media in France).
From another angle, the definition of a journalist varies from one person to another, leading to a wide range of views in the public opinion. To some people, the word ‘journalist’ evokes television sets, a dose of make-up and life in the spotlight. To others, it will vaguely echoes aversion to politicians. Yet, journalism is compounded of a large variety of fields, be it in both form and content. Press, radio, television and the new media (such as blogging) are profoundly different forms of journalism. Within each type of it, there are genres such as literary or other specialized journalism, investigative stories, breaking news, etc.
The journalist who is hosting the news broadcast daily and isn’t part of the editorial staff is not doing his job and in that case he is merely in the role of the anchorman, with his eyes fixed on the autocue and the goal of keeping the viewer entertained. The journalist is a man of ground. His job is to investigate, report and tell a story. Many times I have been asked if I wanted to be on television, for now my answer is negative. Today, with the emergence of Youtubers and others jobs based on video-graphic platforms, the misconceptions about journalists are broadening. The distinction between a TV host and a journalist shall thus be clear because to entertain and to educate are profoundly disparate duties.
TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Whether it be culturally, politically or socially, the journalist is a committed professional. They may aspire to educate on the arts or review movies and music albums. But fundamentally, their goal will always be to transmit an information.
Their golden rule is to value every story they might come across. Journalism is about telling stories. It is not necessarily physically travelling the world. It’s about meeting people, entering a glimpse of their world through the sharing of their personal life story, and telling their story as authentically as possible. It’s seeing the world through their lens and grasping an ounce of their understanding.
A journalist is one who fights for freedom: freedom of thought, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience. They fight for the truth to be unveiled, like Woodward and Bernstein investigated the Watergate break in. And so many other concealed important stories were revealed by journalists.
A journalist is enlivened by passion, whether that be writing or shooting, or music or anything else. It makes their work vivid and translucent. They are animated by human connection. To shed some light and to solve at some extent the world’s problems by drawing the portraits of the ones they meet to write the most accurate and honest story. To make connection is their greatest undertaking.
Journalists are no despicable beings hired by the government to spread its propaganda, or enemies. They simply are fighters of the society, practicing a job that is much bigger than their own persona. They want to change the world. They understood that life is all about characters and stories.
What does ‘journalism’ mean to you? Why do you want to become one?