Looking in from the outside: Student media awards

I find the world of journalism strange, more so the journalism of today. Journalism of the past was built on the foundations of holding those in power in check, journalist were used to be a “ragtag” group of misfits”, as James Carey aptly pointed out in his speech ‘where journalism education went wrong’

‘The first courses in journalism, in short, were designed to transform irresponsible writers into responsible journalists, to teach not only a craft but a politics and ethics congenial to the needs of college presidents seeking, like all administrators, more order and docility’ (Carey, 1996).

As journalism slowly moved towards being considered a recognised ‘profession’. Invariably this is a great thing for journalist’s and journalism as a whole, and yet I find the world of journalism to be kind of self contained (it is fair to say I sit on the periphery on the world of journalism).

Journalist are accessible,they want to be accessible, they also have an ego, they want to be considered intelligent, of course they are willing to give a “big fuck” you to the man. They want to feel important, why not? they have earned it after all.

At the college level in Ireland media students are given the opportunity to show off their talents across all media platforms; anevent called student media or, smedias for short. When I entered the venue for the award ceremony, held at the Aviva stadium I discovered there was a VIP section.

I enquired who it was for, I was met with an unfriendly guff from the security person

‘I only allow those who are escorted in’, he gruffly replied.

‘Huh,really, and who would that be’? I retorted.

‘The “VIP’s”’, was the curt response.

‘Are those who are nominated “VIP”’?, I knew the answer.

‘Only those people who get escorted to me are allowed in’, retorted the security person.

‘Okay’, and with that I walked away.

Watching from the side my mind began to question what the purpose of the whole event was. I went to see what the future held for journalism in Ireland and left questioning the point of this event, looking at the separation of the old guard and the new.

Here we are celebrating the talent of the students who the event was for and yet outside of those who won, the real winners are the “Vip’s” as we get to admire them in their red velvet cage. In our quest to be recognised we fall prey to our needs to becognise, us, the future of journalsim and of media look for the acceptance of those before us. Maybe we need their acceptance.

At this moment I found myself glad to be on the outside looking in.

The speech can be found here

Categories: Thoughts on journalism, Uncategorized

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