Student Life

Journalist? Not Me. My Relationship With The Media

By Kat Vella

I can hardly believe where I am some days. Sitting at my computer tapping away at my next article as a student journalist. I think one of the reasons I have had such a hard time deciding where to take my career change, is because I have been fighting against my own prejudices.

You see, I used to loathe the media. Even before the term “Fake News’ was coined my grandfather and I would spend many a conversation dissecting the manipulation and sensationalised jabber disguised as news. The deliberate ‘noise’ generated around a topic rather than truth seeking. The perpetual news cycle hell-bent on relegating defining moments in human history to “yesterday’s news”. I had, like a large number of people, become so overwhelmed with information and didn’t know how to discern a trustworthy information source from one that was clearly pushing a hidden (or overt, lets face it) agenda.

Tattooed on my left hand, right where I see it every day is the word “within” reminding me that the only real and authentic change in life is that which happens inside ourselves. When we challenge our own biases, think deeper about life and our existence, ask questions of authority and power and never forget that we have an unbelievable capacity to be wrong, only then do we actually have the potential to move forward and grow.

For me, I couldn’t accept that deep down, I wanted to be a journalist. Not because the shiny world of the media appealed to me, quite the opposite. I actively rebel against the idea of being constantly connected to my phone and computer and being possibly pushed to create content which I find to be superfluous nonsense. I want to be a journalist because I care about the world and its people. I want to hold us all accountable to look after it and each other.

There is such thing as the truth. I reject the idea that life is all black and white but I do believe there is a fundamental truth to life that is based on impartial, objective fact. The interpretation and in some cases, the deliberate muddying of the water when it comes to fact, is where journalists have got it so wrong in my opinion.

The climate debate is a perfect example of this. Previously, the mainstream media, in the name of attempting to present a “balanced” view of the issues related to climate change and environmental threats have provided space for climate science deniers to confuse the issue and cloud people’s understanding of the facts. And make no mistake, this has contributed in a powerful way to the slow social and political action on an issue that threatens the very existence of humanity.

So have I finally embraced the idea of me as a journo? It’s a work in progress.

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