Brooke Hawkinson: The Essence of Journalism

by Brooke Hawkinson

Liza Ann Acosta, a professor of English at North Park University and a fan of literary journalism, firmly believes that the essence of journalism is “truth telling.” When asked if she believes journalism is necessary for people to govern themselves she quickly responded “Oh my god, yes! True journalists are threatening to the status quo, it helps to keep governments in check…it is important part of our way of life in our western culture, journalists, in seeking the truth, have to sometimes stand up against a lot of unfair, unjust systems of governments.” Matt Anderson, a 21 year old senior marketing major, has the opposite opinion saying “No I don’t think that it is necessary.”

Melanie Mallin, a 51 year old photographer, believes that journalism at its core is a lens into which one may see the world. She states that “the essence of journalism is to inform and to report and to create stories…to create worlds in which people can understand their own world. It helps me understand my experiences.” She has a mixed view of journalism’s role in politics, saying that “it can be a pro and a con…I think that sometimes journalism is used to manipulate, it creates false sense of awareness in government, but it is also necessary for people to know what’s going on…the short answer is if there is truth in journalism then it is necessary, what is unnecessary is the manipulation.” Nieman Reports says that “Journalism alone is focused first on getting what happened down right.” Cassandra Baker an advertisement major thinks that the point of journalism is “to capture stories and ideas in word form.” The European Journalism Centre believes differently than that, stating “the big business model of mass media has always been generating and brokering attention.”

Judith Allen, a sophomore, has two sisters who graduated with degrees in journalism. One is now a successful news anchor, yet Judith resonates more with the other sister since she went into written journalism, which she says “rings more true to me.” Joseph Tortorici, the self-proclaimed “Chief Fool of the audio department,” sums up modern journalism by stating that “modern journalism rides that knife edge, you have to keep a balance between telling a good story without all of the bells and whistles, but you better still be ready for all the bells and whistles!”

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About North Park Journalism Course

This blog is a place for NPU journalism students to post stories based on their specific beats in Albany Park: Crime, Arts and Entertainment, Business and Politics, etc. Posts should be free of spelling and grammar errors and accurate in all facts and content.
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