Wednesday, September 01, 2004

My epiphany

Of all the things I have learned at the J-school, I never thought I would have to re-learn the reason why I decided to be a journalism major. Today I did that.
I took a trip to Mr. Fisher's office to look at my blogs for this site so I could see what I was doing wrong. (I know he is editing this now and it just kills me.) But while there, he looked at my latest article in The Gamecock. I was so upset about my lead being changed by the editors, that I didn't even look at what I had done wrong in the article myself.
I had completely lost sight of what the article meant to my audience. The worst thing I could ever do.
But, this is also a learning experience.
Though I have no clue what I want to do when I leave here, I have always known that I wanted to be a journalist because I wanted to report the news. I wanted to work with features in news to bring the personal side of news to my audience and be able to touch their feelings. Somewhere in the process of beginning to write again, interviewing and doing the million other things in my life, I lost my reasoning behind what I do.
I forgot my responsibility to my audience to tell them what they don't already know. If you just rehash what they already know, especially in newspapers, then they won't read your writing, and they definitley won't watch your newscast. Your audience also needs to feel like they were with you because you touched on all the senses to make them feel that way, super important in feature writing...and I missed the mark on it.
I am so glad that I stopped by his office. I have always known why I was here, I just didn't carry it out into my real world work. And this might be a ridiculous entry to some, but remember, while at the j-school, even though you get bogged down by classes, meetings and life, don't forget that you are being trusted to tell the world what they don't already know, not just get another byline...and it is your obligation to your audience to never lose sight of that.


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