It seems just like yesterday that I was writing my first column and now I am writing my last.
As my last semester at the University of La Verne nears its end, I’m left with the overwhelming task of figuring out what do with my life.
What I do know is that I am going to take a semester off and attend graduate school next fall. The question, however, is where? But an even more important question is what major will I pursue?
Although I will graduate with a degree in journalism, I am not sure it is a career path that I want to continue to pursue.
More importantly, I’m not sure my ethics are at a standard low enough to continue to be a part of a community that cares more about money and ratings than objectively informing the public. Individuals should be able to form their own opinions rather than accepting opinions of the news media.
It seems like most journalists today only care about the scandal of the moment or the newest couple to get married and divorced in less than three hours (i.e. Michael Jackson, Kobe Bryant and Bennifer).
News stories are constantly filled with errors, errors that could have been avoided if the journalist took the time and effort to research.
But, unfortunately, these mistakes imply that most journalists are either too eager for a story that they print it without facts or they just don’t care. In either case, they will always find a publication that will allow them a forum to spew their crap to millions of people each day.
The scattered news pieces seem to speak to an audience with Attention Deficit Disorder. Most journalist questions are bland to say the most, and they lack content and distinctiveness.
The rush to be the first journalist to reveal the news does not allow time for clarification or questions requiring too much explanation. The outcome, thus, becomes straightforward, easy to grasp information fed to the public. This information is also given in bite size pieces; after all, journalists wouldn’t want to overwhelm the public.
A well written, well-researched and enlightening story is a rarity in today’s media.
It would be nice if journalism could return to its ethical, resourceful and informative state. Maybe then the public will not have to swallow their intelligence, so as to tolerate reality TV and popular, unoriginal music acts such as Jennifer Lopez.
This brings me back to my original question: Do I really want to continue to be a part of this? The answer is, no. I want to be a part of the improvement and change of the media.
With this decision made, fall 2004 will find me starting my graduate studies in journalism. My goal will be to put the ethics back in journalism.
Journalists should not insult their readers with meaningless, monotonous stories. While everyone is entitled to an opinion, it should be stated in a way that doesn’t undermine the significance of the artistic endeavor.
One of the ways I hope to do my part in the field of journalism is by asserting my common ground with the listener or reader, not just providing aloof commentary on material that carries little to no meaning for me.
It’s not going to be an easy job, but it’s a task that I am willing to take on.
Rima Thompson, a senior communications major, is arts editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com.