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Will I still want to be a journalist?

Updated: 7 days ago




Daydream By Diana G. Mendoza

Manila--I’m not comfortable with people saying journalism is dying or that newspapers are dead. I may have semi-retired when I left my last job as a newsdesk editor early last year but I continue to do journalism. I have been in and out of media companies but I’m happy to still be identified as a journalist, though an independent one.


When I write articles from people’s life stories, often with factual, scientific data that must be respected across disciplines no matter the topic, I call it journalism. Many others like me don't believe that journalism is dying. But if it is, I’m one of those who want to save it.


I’m just like Ryo Kinoshita, the young man depicted in the 2022 Netflix drama “The Journalist” who delivers newspapers but does not read them; only to be interested in reading up later and wanted to be a reporter when the news came too close to his personal life.


The TV series adapted from the 2019 film of the same name is about journalist Anna Matsuda and her fierce investigation into a cover-up of the self-serving higher-ups in the Japanese government for siphoning off public money, ordering public servants to edit out incriminating documents and overall, committing corrupt acts because they have power, authority and money.


Both Anna and Ryo struggled and succeeded in their pursuit of what journalism always seeks – the truth, the need to uphold it at all costs and letting the public know.


I appreciate the TV drama’s portrayal not of the journalist being a hero but of ordinary people whose health, well-being and lives the journalist must protect by empowering and motivating them to speak up and not allow people in power to commit injustice and, if they already had, to let them face the moral consequences of what they did.


I was drawn to the scene of Ryo’s interview before the newspaper editors when he was asked why he wanted to be a journalist. He says he wants to give a voice to the voiceless no matter how hard it may be. He wants to make people, especially the youth, realize that they should be concerned with what goes on in their societies.


For the final question, he is asked what he thinks about how newspapers should adapt to the future. The drama does not provide his answer. Perhaps, the younger generation of journalists will find a way not to let newspapers die.

We will continue to read about corruption, dishonesty and abuse of authority but with journalists around, we will also witness the death of apathy among people who will take a stand and speak up.


I started in this profession steeped in the values and techniques of traditional journalism. It is now being challenged by different methods and platforms but I will still want to be part of it. I will still prefer it to the online process of pumping out information that may not even be factual.


Diana G. Mendoza is a journalist based in Manila. Send feedback to soltera2040@gmail.com

 




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