THE INSIDE SCOOP: Being a journalist in ‘the media’
Over the course of a few months, I’ve really started to notice things I hadn’t noticed before as it pertains to news reporters and others who handle different forms of media, anything from publishers to columnists to photojournalists.
The thing that’s been nagging at me is this sort of stereotype that surrounds us.
I’m sure you’ve heard most of them, so I won’t get off topic to dive into each and every one, but my point is that journalists are not your enemy.
Most of the time, when someone asks me what I do or even if they already know and I’m in the process of interviewing them, I get this wide-eyed, almost shocked, “Are you serious?”
I almost always come back with a joking, “I hope, since my name is on this thing,” as I laugh and hold up the latest copy of the Enterprise. It makes me happy to be here and be active like that, but it’s got me thinking a little bit and paying more attention to things.
The first thing is how journalists are treated across the nation.
I guess it was when protests and even riots started, some from the Black Lives Matter movement and others who oppose it. I’ll admit, I wasn’t too educated on the matter, but I quickly started to notice how reporters were being treated in the middle of it all.
Obviously, there’s good and bad in everything. I’m not saying there aren’t those out there who would try to manipulate and deceive people through the work they do for a news agency, but it kind of scared me seeing how even journalists I knew were being shot at, having someone spit in their face, and more.
At this point in time, I still didn’t exactly understand why these things were happening to reporters and the like across the United States. Well, at least not until I started to see a trend of things being said on good ole Facebook.
Between the threats and bashing, I’ve noticed people were upset at “the media,” which doesn’t exactly specify one person or group.
On almost every political post or opinion-bearing article, even satirical content, this tension flooded the comment sections with things like, “The media has corrupted everything,” or “I wish the media would just go away,” and it truly got me thinking.
There is a difference between this “media” and your local journalists, like me.
Sure, some of the stereotypes exist because there are some truth to them, but even if you’ve never met me I’ll assure you not all of us are jaded or out to get you or have other ill intentions.
Most of us, above all else, are simply here because we love what we do and we want to contribute to our community in a way we know we can with writing and photography. We try to report the truth fairly and accurately, which also means we learn in the process just like many of our readers do.
Personally, I can’t tell you half the things I’ve learned in my short two years here, but I can tell you I’m not “the media” stereotype so many have perceived because maybe they saw something they disagreed with, or another news agency wasn’t their cup of tea.
If anything, I am your friendly local journalist who tries to shed light on the stories you may have not heard before. I am here because I want to be, not because some fat paycheck or high title makes me feel like I’m famous or like I have to be here.
I enjoy engaging with our community and meeting new people when I can, even though the coronavirus may have put a damper on that for now for meeting in person, anyway.
The point is, your local newspaper is here for you.
We seek your valuable voice through contributing pieces of your own to diversify the opinions that are shared. We congratulate you on life experiences that happen, such as birth announcements, weddings and even monumental birthdays.
These special milestones are not taken for granted at the Enterprise because we feel it is our duty to place these special milestones in our “community yearbook,” something generations from now can look back on.
Our newspaper and the community go hand in hand, and I have received hundreds of calls over my time here that have proven that.
From people reconnecting with their roots, finding lost loved ones, surfing countless archives for research and more, the print and digital of it all matters.
I hope you continue to support your local newspaper and journalism efforts like so many already have. Consider submitting content to us to help broaden what people read, whether it’s an opinion piece, letter or even a lifestyle column. And above all, throw out “the media” stereotype that suggests none of us care about you.
Our hearts are in the pages you hold and in the words you scan on screen.
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