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Journalistic Integrity

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Journalistic Integrity

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Fourth quarter, final edition, one last column.  I became a member of the Oracle staff in my sophomore year, with my main drive being to make an impact.  Chasing after a legacy, a need to start something new that this school would   remember.

Words are powerful.  That’s the first thing I’ll say.  Being on staff, I’ve realized words can create controversy, they can form acceptance;  words are double edged swords.   The most important thing I’ve learned on staff is that my job as a journalist doesn’t mean favoring the perspective society wants to hear.  I have found it a much more enriching — as well as valuable –use of my time to hear and report on a view that the majority of us don’t agree with.  People are quick to call me a terrible writer or worse a terrible person for letting these views be heard.

I’m unapologetic with what I write, I pride myself on it.  In a world that begs us to be open minded, I have found  that understanding the opposing view is most successful way of being able to say why a perspective is “wrong”.  Being able to logically explain why one disagrees is more appealing than droning on only using emotional tidbits to support the reasoning.  Yet, it’s the emotional tidbits that stir us up; these are also the main factors in creating a conversation, or in most cases an argument.  The conversations that occur forces us to confront the appeal to emotion  with a concrete argument of facts.

I’m a straightforward person and facts are important to me.  Facts are hard to argue with.  In a society concerned with fake news, as well as one which consistently employs pathos, facts are necessary. It’s fair to say, not all opinions are rooted in actual facts.  There are certain concepts that have an inability or a lack of information to be proven by fact.  The opinions that form around these concepts are the ones that truly disengage us from each other.  The most polarizing views are the ones without factual information available.

As a writer, as a journalist, it’s tough tackling these ideas.  Someone is going to be upset, someone is going to feel validated, I as a writer have the ability to overall choose who.   I’ve written articles which acknowledged an existence of multiple genders, but I’ve also written an article that turned its head to this viewpoint.  As a journalist, I felt the importance of being impartial, and had an advantage of writing from a topic with an already informed opposing viewpoint.  As a person, writing from these two perspectives only cemented my own ideology of what I believe in.

That’s what I love about journalism, the ever changing ebb and flow of information, ideas, and perspectives that I  encounter. All in all I’ve grown as a person.

Last quarter, last edition, there’s my final column.

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