We know it’s not a whisper around town that people say journalism is a dying breed. You can pretty much go anywhere and hear the problems of journalism falling out of the media, or being run into the ground, or losing its grip on society. Honestly, even as an aspiring journalist myself, somewhat believed the rumors I’ve heard. I didn’t want to, but, unfortunately, it started to sink in.
That is, until I was able to hear Dean Baquet speak at the Foster-Foreman Conference about a week ago. I was stunned by some of the things that Baquet directly said about the present and future of the media. I couldn’t imagine some of the things he said coming out of his mouth. I was pleasantly surprised, however.
Baquet, straightforwardly said that he was, “Jealous,” of perspective journalism that were just coming into the field today. How could a man be jealous of students who were going into a “dying breed”, an industry that may not last too long? And then it hit me. Maybe, just maybe, journalism isn’t as problematic as we thought. Maybe, we can not only prosper, but thrive, in this industry.
Possibly my favorite quote, and the reason that it sits in my title, reads, “You have the chance to transform a craft that needs transformation.” That stuck with me. A craft. I really never thought of it that way. The fact that not only are we joining journalism to start a career, but to also hone a craft. Baquet, being a great speaker, didn’t stop there. He gave incredible advice, stating, “Take a job that will let you learn and listen,” and so much more.
I didn’t know what to expect when it came to this conference. I had never been to a speech such as this. I was incredibly surprised and impressed with the way Baquet carried himself, spoke directly and respectfully, and made sure he left a lasting impression on every student in attendance.
It was great to get insight, and more importantly reassurance, on the situations and future that surround journalism. Baquet even believes he can, “Foresee a time, that may be already upon us, where we know exactly what’s ahead of us.” It’s great to know what’s ahead of us, even if it’s problematic, because going into our future knowing what’s ahead of us is majorly better than not knowing at all. We, at least, have a vision for the future.