Journalism wasn't on my radar until I was looking at colleges to apply to during my junior year in high school. As I thought about what my passions were, I kept thinking back to my like of writing and watching the nightly news (and if I'm being honest, my desire to know everything about everything). And that is how I came to journalism.
Now as a junior in college with one semester to go, I realize that journalism is so much more than writing and broadcasting the facts about certain things. Journalists have a duty to keep the masses informed and to uphold the whole "We have a right to know what's going on in our country!" thing that people love to spew out. Sure, information can go astray, and there are some news outlets that will put a different spin on stories. But it's all a matter of how we, the public, perceive the news.
On a deeper level, a journalist's duty should also be to tell the stories of people who don't have the opportunity to do so alone. Think about it: What stories do people empathize with the most? It's the stories where people who have gone through something tough or traumatic and are put front in center that do the best, and for good reason. Journalists have a responsibility to the public by not just informing them, but also by giving them a chance to talk about real issues that effect them.
And that is the reason why I want to become a journalist. I want to give a voice to the people that feel like they have no voice at all. I want to be able to tell the stories that often go unheard of or often get ignored. And I hope that my fellow journalism students realize that they have the power to do so as well, no matter what sort of journalism they go into.
We are more than journalists: we are story tellers.