I have always wanted to be a journalist even before I knew what Journalism is all about. I used to believe that my talent in writing could get me by in the field that I chose and I just have to be creative enough to provide something for my readers, but that all changed now that I’m older and already halfway through college, taking up a degree in Journalism.
I wish I could tell my younger self that it isn’t just about writing—that there is a bigger world of truths and ideologies than just fictional stories and love poems. In my two years with The Flame, I have learned that Journalism is more than the classes I take on a daily basis and the grammar lessons with writing lead quizzes I have in my majors. Journalism is staying up all night to edit articles, constantly checking my email for media partnerships and event invitations, going through the hassle of covering one event to the other, being called out when an organization did not like what you just posted, and learning how to be patient at all times when dealing with your sources. It’s being brave enough to report news and important information even though a lot of people would disagree with it, and accepting the fact that the path you chose for a living is not as easy as it seems.
Campus publications are always prone to unnecessary hate and that’s because of the existence of biases. At first, you’ll ask yourself: as a journalist, what should I be afraid of? Seeing that my article contains wrong information or typographical errors and incorrect grammar? Or being constantly threatened to stay quiet even though I’m just doing my job of reporting the news to the public?
This government has always been hateful towards journalists who do a good job of exposing truths. Journalism “in the real world” is a lot harder than the experiences you’ll gain from campus publications but the similarity of how you get hateful comments from people who disagree with what you have posted for the public is terrifying. It means no matter how hard we fight for press freedom, people who work for the media will always be criticized because of biases. Truth, for some people, will always be relative. That’s the hardest part of understanding this career. Knowing that you cannot control what others will think but at the same time being aware of how your words can influence a lot of people is both a gift and a curse if you think about it.
I know that this is just the start of what’s waiting for me. There will come a time when I will question myself if I am really for this path. I know there will be a lot more challenges that I will face and lessons that I will learn as an associate editor of The Flame—and so I will be ready for all of them. F
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in Vol. 55, Issue No. 1 of the Flame. View the entire issue through this link.