Editorial

Why I Love Journalism

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

At some point in their life, everyone has a moment when they have to decide what they would like to do with it. For some, that moment comes early in life and for others, it comes a bit later. In my case, the moment came and then died off and has recently been revived. Iím referring to my relationship with journalism and how being a journalist/columnist can make me feel like part of something bigger than myself, unlike any other task.

When I was in high school I took journalism almost out of a sense of duty. My mother was the advisor for the class and while I never felt forced into it by any means, it always just felt like something that I was going to be a part of. Iím certainly glad that I did. Journalism helped to shape me into who I am today. I was able to experience so many things that I otherwise would have never been a part of because of journalism. I got to attend competitions in places like Washington D.C. and San Francisco, I met mentors that helped to shape my skills and I got to stand in front of huge crowds of other like-minded students and accept national awards. Journalism was my passion in high school and then I got to ANC.

Now I hold nothing against ANC, it is a wonderful campus where I got to meet wonderful people and have had a wonderful time, but it is lacking in any sort of news media. I donít hold this against the campus and I was aware of it going into the school, but looking back on it now it was disappointing that I let that part of my life fade away. I did find a new pastime in choir and theatre, but oftentimes I still missed being able to call myself a journalist.

Flash forward two years and some change and I am sitting here now writing this column. I havenít felt an occupational sense of purpose like this at any point in my life. I get to help people experience news and help them stay informed and while that task may not be for everyone, it makes me feel a sense of importance that I live for now. I enjoy hearing feedback each week, be it from one that commends or one that criticizes. Knowing that those in the community read my work makes it all worth it.

Some people dislike the media for whatever reason, but I believe that the overwhelming majority of people in this country are thankful for a free press. The media is able to inform the public - be it globally, nationally or locally. I am thankful to be a part of that process. No matter what happens in this country I feel that I can trust that dedicated journalists will do all that they can to let the citizens of our great nation know what the situation is. I believe that nothing is more important in this world than informed people being able to make informed decisions and the media provides that information. Informing the public is what I try to do, in some form, every day that I am here.

Iíve been here at the CN since August and in that time I feel like I have contributed positively to the community. Iíve grown to know people in this community that I otherwise may have never known, Iíve heard some amazing stories about experiences others have had in their lives and I havenít shied away from letting people know my opinion in my columns, even when that opinion was unpopular (and there have been a few of those, Iím well aware.) I couldnít imagine doing anything else than what I am doing right now and I certainly wouldnít want to. While I understand that this work isnít for everyone, it definitely IS for me. I hope to be able to continue this line of work for as long as possible and I certainly hope that people feel informed by my work. I hope if you are regularly a reader of my columns that you enjoy them because I enjoy writing them each week and plan to continue that effort as long as I can.

gwilliams@blythevillecourier.com