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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

'Journalism is an Act of Faith in the Future'

NBC correspondent Ann Curry once said, "Journalism is an act of faith in the future."

This quote has inspired me through many challenges and doubts over the course of my journalism career. I haven't been doing this for very long, but I've already experienced a good dose of the struggle and sacrifice that comes with being a journalist. It is stressful, tiring and even sometimes discouraging. The sacrifice often outweighs the reward, and too often, the voices of critics and naysayers are the loudest. It is difficult to see the right path forward as individuals and as an industry.

But, I know there are people who still have faith in journalism and in the future of society as a whole. I know this because I am one of them. I believe that with honest intentions, open minds and good hearts, journalists can make a difference in our world and journalism can remain the cornerstone of a vibrant society.

Patti Smith, general manager at KVUE in Austin, Texas, shared with me her vision for her station and broadcasting as a whole and I think it's a great guide to creating meaningful journalism. She asks: "How can we turn success into significance?"

I am graduating in less than one month and that question rings loudly in my mind. How can I turn my successful experience as a college journalist into something significant? Something that matters in the long run?

Tomorrow, our class will visit ABC7 and have the chance to ask some veteran journalists for advice. Here are some questions I want to ask:

  • How do you stay inspired during times of tragedy?
  • How can I continually improve after leaving an educational environment?
  • How do you balance journalistic integrity and standards with the demands of a ratings-driven world?
  • How do you market yourself in an interview without sounding scripted or mechanical?
  • How to sell yourself as a one-man-band without being trapped as a one-man-band at a place where reporters do have photographers?
  • How do you overcome rejection and keep trying?
  • How does a person move from being a reporter or producer into newsroom management?
  • How do you balance your work and personal lives?

I'm sure I will think of more questions tomorrow and I look forward to being inspired by the visit.

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