This post may not have anything to do with multimedia, and it probably won’t contain any cool links, videos or pictures.
But, oh well.
This week, our professor sent us something that he thought we may want to talk about on our blogs. It was the viral video of a Mizzou Journalism grad quitting her job through an epic dance montage. He also sent us the blogpost that accompanied the video, explaining her reasons for quitting and her opinions on modern journalism in general.
The whole thing was pretty entertaining and interesting, but there was one part of her blog that really hit home for me:
“If there is a mass shooting or natural disaster you can feel a buzz of excitement in the office! I’ve heard actual sighs of disappointment when we learned nobody died in a building collapse.”
During the spring semester of my freshman year, the Boston Marathon bombing occurred. And as many of you know, a slew of other crazy, saddening, dangerous events occurred quickly afterward.
Yes, events like these are sort of golden nuggets for journalists. But that doesn’t mean we have to treat them that way.
There were numerous fellow students who posted on social media about how excited they were to be listening to the events unfold on the police blotter. They tweeted their own facts and exclaimed about how lucky they felt to be journalists.
I understand loving your major (or profession), and by all means, you should be practicing those skills. Yet, I can’t help but wonder if those students were really hearing what was happening on that police blotter. People were being shot, lives were being taken, numerous people were hiding in their homes in fear… is this really something about which we should be excited?
It may be our job to report on troubling stories, but it is also our job to know that these stories are real and terrible events aren’t just great clips waiting to happen. These events are happening to real people, and they have real impact. But hearing “sighs of disappoint” when (thank goodness) everyone survived a building collapse? How does that make us good journalists?
If we’re not writing and reporting with clarity and understanding, then I’m not really sure we should be reporting at all.
OK, rant over. Your normally programmed blog posts will resume next week.