If we can’t change the world, then who can?

Despite the fact that I chose to study journalism, at the beginning I still didn’t know whether I actually even wanted to be a journalist. I wanted to write about important things, not just politics. I wanted to look at human nature and observe how tragic it was and how ugly yet beautiful humans can be.

 I still want to do that, of course, BUT the current social and political situation made me re-think a few things.

Richard Bilton, a reporter from the BBC, who I never heard of before, came to give a talk in one of my lectures. Me, being me, I did not expect anything exciting, let alone inspiring, as everything in journalism was about being accurate, legally correct and contemporaneous. All I ever hears in lectures, seminars and talks was ”fair and accurate, fair and accurate, fair and accurate”. It was like an awful tune haunting me over and over again, making the idea of journalism seem tedious… I mean, I should have studied law at this rate…. But when I heard Richard speak about everything that he’s done with his job, and saw his eyes light up when he was talking about how much he enjoys his job, I couldn’t help but to re-think the reason why I am actually studying journalism.

I realised that, even though I am not the most confident when it comes to politics, I am extremely interested in the people’s side of how politics affects real people! The people who work hard, the people who try hard and don’t get anywhere, the deprived people and especially those who are mostly affected by the current situation. I realised that even though everything needs to be ”fair and accurate, fair and accurate, fair and accurate”, I can still broadcast, publish and write about the IMPORTANT things – life. I can still focus on the tragic nature of humanity; I can observe how awfully selfish and ugly human nature is. What I realised is that journalism can be what I make it to be. I can interview bands and talk to politicians and other important people, if I need to – but I can also sit down with a homeless person, give them some food and immerse myself into a deep conversation about why life is what it is for them.

 Maybe I will not change the world alone. Maybe nobody will listen, read or hear me, but I can make a difference by making the people that I talk to know that SOMEONE knows that they’re struggling and that SOMEONE cares.

 The current racist and misogynistic mess that we’re in, makes me want to be a journalist – knowing that someone MIGHT read what I’ve seen, and what I heard, makes me want to carry on. Constant voices of pessimism ”you can’t change the world, you can’t achieve anything alone, one person can’t change the world” are only words of encouragement. Seeing someone, like one of my friends who I saw give a speech at an anti-Trump protest, made me feel heartbroken. Knowing that we can help so many people, yet don’t. Knowing HOW these things affect people like her, really bothers me – which is the reason why I want to make at least the slightest change in the world.

 If WE don’t hold power to account, then who will?

 Alone, nothing, but together, everything. If people stand together, they can make a difference and what the world really needs is people; people who may not have the ability to make a change but still try to – those who stand together to make a point.

I now know that I am happy studying journalism; maybe I have not done what I WANT to do, I am learning and soon I will be able to slowly make small changes in opinions – maybe not huge scale opinions, but changing one person’s views for more open and accepting, will be enough of an accomplishment for me.

Pattie.

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