I have almost finished my first year of study as a journalist and have already faced criticism about my career choice. It hasn’t offended me at all. It has simply shown me that there is a lot of mistrust in the profession, and that many people are wary of the way some journalists twist people’s words and treat their subjects. I decided to use this blog post as a kind of informal contract or promise, about my aim to be an honest, true journalist.
Here are just some examples of times where, in my opinion, some journalists or publications have ruined the industry’s reputation and the work of journalists:
I think most people were in shock when it was revealed that journalists at News of the World illegally accessed voicemails and bribed law enforcement officers to get stories. They hacked the voicemails of missing girl Milly Dowler, a teen who was abducted and murdered. Not only was this illegal, but a completely unreasonable invasion of privacy. How can anyone trust a journalist after hearing about that? Is it really worth it risk to get a good story? I think not.
Tripping up refugees
I remember scrolling through Twitter in bed one morning and coming across this video of a Hungarian journalist kicking and tripping refugees as they fled Police at the Hungarian Border. I couldn’t believe it. Her role was to film the action for the television channel she worked for, not to get involved. She kicked 2 children and tripped over a man carrying a child. Her excuse was “something just snapped in me.” That is not a justifiable excuse. Journalists are supposed to inform the public but what she did was purely to get ‘exciting’ footage. Heartless.
It infuriates me when I open up a magazine and see pictures of celebrities with a caption stating that they have put on weight. Why is that necessary or important to the public? We have come so far in changing body image perceptions, encouraging men and women to be fit and healthy rather than what can only be considered a form of bullying. Just because they are celebrities doesn’t mean they don’t have feelings or can’t be damaged by these comments.
Chelsy Davy pulling a hair out of her mouth…
The only word to describe this story is ridiculous. Just why? Why is that important for people to read about? Are famous people not human? Is she just supposed to walk about London with a piece of hair in her mouth even though it’s bothering her? Do some journalists not have anything better to talk about? I think it’s pretty clear how I feel about that.
So there are some of the reasons I decided to write this blog post. That’s just not the kind of journalist I want to be and I’m admitting that from the start. I promise to always be honest, sensitive and write about subjects that people benefit learning from.