There’s a photo of me that my mother took. I’m probably about 2-years-old and wearing a diaper. I’m in front of the television, and on the screen you can see a news anchor speaking.
That was 18 years ago. At this moment, I am once again sitting in front of a television. This time though, I’m alone in my apartment wearing sweatpants and a v-neck T-shirt. I’m tuned to CNN and watching the network break the news at Penn State. I don’t even like sports or barely know who Joe Paterno is, but I’m still glued to it. Just as I would have been at the age of two.
That’s how it’s always been. I’m glued to the news. I wake up in the morning and turn on my television to hear the morning headlines. Then, I read the paper as I eat my breakfast. Throughout the day I pay attention to my Twitter feed to see what is happening at a real-time level. Then, at the end of the night, I turn on my television once again to watch the news.
Needless to say, I’m always connected to the news. Which is why I decided to become part of the media. I’m still not quite sure what medium I will end up in, but I’ll be happy doing it.
I’ve always loved the media. Ever since I could read I had a newspaper in my hand. Ever since I could understand the English language, I was watching the news and soaking up the information. There are many nights in my adolescence that I remember staying up late to watch major world events. Most specifically, I remember watching the bombing of Baghdad when I was in the fifth grade.
I remember watching the news as the bombs landed. It was eerily beautiful. I knew at the age of about 11 that war and bombing was horrible. But watching the news that night something sparked in me. I think that was the moment when I knew I wanted to go into journalism. For some messed up reason, watching those bombs fall I knew that I needed to be in that world. The world that alerts the public of major events. The world that gets the message out. The world that informs. The world of journalism.
Now, as a sophomore in college studying news/Internet journalism, I’m still enamored with all that journalism has to offer me. I still don’t know why I’m so dedicated to being the best journalist I can be. It’s an internal drive that no one can really understand.
This year has been a trying year for my dedication to journalism. No matter how many times I’ve had deadline-induced panic attacks; no matter how many times I’ve had to write a story on the fly because a writer didn’t do his job; no matter how many times I’ve thought about quitting — I’m still passionate.
There has never been a moment where I questioned my choice to study journalism. I look forward to taking my classes every day. I look forward to having discussions about ethics. I look forward to learning new grammar rules that I had forgotten. It’s all exquisitely amazing.
The way I feel about journalism is only equatable the love my parents have for each other (they’ve been married for over 20 years, and they’re still happy). I’ve been known to even say that journalism is my one true love. But in all honesty, it is. I’ve never found anything that has made me more happy than journalism. The moment when I turn on my voice recorder is like a shock of electricity. The ability to inform the public and influence policy is one of the most rewarding things anyone could do.
There is no other job in the world that would be able to do that (in my opinion).
I may not have the experience of a veteran reporter yet, but I feel that I’m on my way. I haven’t had classes on public affairs reporting. Yet, I still have to write articles on public affairs. I have no idea how to get a police report, but once I do, I sure can use all the information. I’m still learning, and with the world of journalism changing as fast as it does, I’ll always be learning.
Maybe that is why I was drawn to Drake University to study journalism. The passion that I saw in the professors and the alumni is the passion I see in myself. Drake is innovative, and that is what makes it a great university. My education in just three semesters has helped me become a better writer, reporter and person.
I think my 2-year-old self would be proud of me if she could look into the future. I just hope that 10 years from now, I can look at myself in the mirror and still be positive about the world of journalism.