The Times They Are A-Changin’
By Sydney Owens
I’ve wanted to be a journalist for a very long time. I don’t know if it was the way Chloe Sullivan looked in Smallville with her “wall of weird” or her cool green computer. Maybe it was my love of literature mixed with my love of educational information. All I know is that from day one I was writing “articles” for my family to read and interviewing people for my youtube show. I was dead set on a career before I even knew all of my options.
Unfortunately, I didn’t get to grow up experiencing or even witnessing the time of true investigative journalism, or the time when journalism was a respected and sought-after field. I read Sinclair’s The Jungle and wish I could go back to when journalists were considered the good guys, the heroes. No, I have grown up to watch this field get buried into the ground by social media and the president of the United States. I have grown up during the era of “fake news”.
If you have ever opened an article posted on a social media website, you have probably seen “fake news”. Yes, it is real and yes, it is a problem. However, it is the 21st century, and anyone can publicize anything they want. Everyone must educate themselves on how to spot fake news and how to fact check everything they read before hitting the “share” button. Also, reporters are not all-knowing, omniscient beings. Therefore, they have to go with their gut and make decisions to trust or to not trust different sources. They can and will be wrong sometimes, especially when the political climate is so tense. But also, media bias is a serious problem too, and it makes me sad that many “news” sources such as Fox (Um hello, they just hired Tomi Lahren??) and CNN are clearly targeting a specific audience, making questionable claims, and allowing their bias to get in the way of true and accurate reporting.
BUT notice that CNN and Fox are two of the biggest news sources in the market. This is because they give the people all of the biased news that they want! It’s a broken system and an endless cycle. People crave biased news and the news companies need to stay in business.
I’ve decided that I want no part in this.
When I tell people that I’m majoring in journalism, they almost always respond with “newspapers are dying”. This is true according to semantics. The idea of a daily paper circulating is eventually going to die out, due to obvious reasons of saving money, time, and manpower. However, reporters and the news itself will never die out; it is a constant and continuous need. With that being said, the problem with today’s news is its credibility and honesty.
I still want to get my Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. It is a vast field with a wide range of jobs. I still want to be a writer; maybe I’ll write about music or film. Maybe I’ll write about my life. Maybe I’ll write about other people’s lives. I’m not sure yet. I just know that writing has and probably always will be one of my many passions and interests. But, going further I think I want to do something more. Something a little different.
So, I want to pursue film.
I’m thinking about writing, producing, or maybe even directing my own documentaries. Chris is interested in something similar. We might start with independent documentary films and then try to eventually get funding from someone else. I also want to maybe go to film school for my Masters, hopefully in New York or California.
I also want to open a business when I’m old and have saved up for it. Maybe a used book store (that’s also a cat rescue and adoption center) or an art gallery.
I guess I don’t know exactly what I want to do? A little bit of everything.
All I know that life is too short to think about mass shootings and Donald Trump everyday. And that’s all the media does at this point. If I could actually make a difference in people’s minds, then I would write for the news. But everyone gets news from a source they know that they will agree with already. There is no open conversation about gun control, only hateful terminology and blaming and auto-defense responses.
I want to look at the positive and beautiful things in life. Music, art, film, and people. I want to hopefully use my documentaries to spread awareness about WORLD (not US only) problems. Like homelessness, starvation, the lack of clean water, and human trafficking. I want to document real people’s lives and real animals and real places. I want to change the way people see things. I also want to travel the world. Yeah, things can suck sometimes, but there are so many things that don’t suck 🙂