Journalism in the 21st century is a “Catch-22.” We, the Millennial generation, have technology at a moment’s notice; as a result, we as journalists have the ability to inform the masses immediately. The “catch” is knowing the capabilities technology brings to the field without compromising the ethical standards on which this field was founded. In this, I seek to solidify and validate the credibility of Millennial generation journalists.
Although I was only two years old, then tragic events of September 11, 2001 forever changed not only the course of this nation, but the field of journalism. Suddenly, news tickers appeared at the bottoms of television screens, 24/7 news broadcasts became the norm, and notifications constantly arose regarding the latest breaking news story.
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These results became the journalism field in which I grew up, a field I grew to love.
As a journalism student at Hoover High School in Ohio, I became aware of the power of convergence — bridging the broadcast, print, photo, and design realms of journalism with that of the digital age — an age which with I was all too familiar. Covering events such as presidential campaigns, The Ohio Educational Technology Conference and the Ohio ValleyEmmy's, I had to find a balance between these multiple platforms early on in my career.
What became evident was at the core of this, the heart of this ever-evolving field, there was an unchangeable constant — that of adhering to andmaintaining legal principles and strong ethical standards. As a Millennial journalist, howcould I marry the instant-accessibility in reaching my audience with always seeking to inform them accurately and with sound credibility? While I am still searching for the exact answer,there is one example of this I constantly find myself using as a guide.
I remember hearing about a man as a child, a reporter who once had the awful task of informing a nation of the death of its president, a man history would record as being “themost trusted man in America.” That man, that journalist, is Walter Cronkite, and it is his namesake at Arizona State University where I continue on my journey in its journalism program in the fall. One is not entitled to credibility; one earns it. Walter Cronkite did.
With that inspiration, I know I will as well.
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