Amid this pandemic — seeing everyone who is struggling with where they’re going to live, how they’re going to pay rent or student fees and what their next meal is going to be — I keep wanting to do something to help. Like most students right now I mostly just sit at home trying to keep up with classes and create a new routine. I think a lot of people want to help right now or at least feel like they’re doing something purposeful and that’s why I’m grateful to be a student journalist.
At this moment in time, what I can do is provide some answers to what’s going on. I can give people a voice and a channel to share their current experiences. Journalists today are creating the written, video and photographic content that will define this time in history. History doesn’t happen — it’s created. This all brings me a great sense of pride and purpose, but what I love most about journalism is that while not everyone can do it as a job, everyone has the opportunity to do it.
I’ve been hearing a lot of people encouraging others to keep a journal throughout this pandemic. Do it. It doesn’t even need to be a written journal. If you want to take videos or photos of what’s going on around you or you just want to record yourself talking because that’s how you tell stories the best then do it! These things that journalists do everyday are not out of reach for everyday people and they do have an impact.
I’m not going to lie and say that every story every person has to tell is going to be interesting to a lot of people, but what I’ve learned in journalism is that you can’t predict what is going to be a good story. More often than we want, journalists get tidbits of information that go nowhere, but sometimes we find or receive a small tip that becomes a compelling narrative. You never know which tidbit of information is going to be part of something grand and fascinating. What seems mundane now could be the part of your story that makes the historical cut.