Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Breaking news and perceptions

By Delia Beristain (Fort Washington, MD)

The past few days have felt like weeks: not in a negative sense, but because we have been unbelievably productive, and have made an effort to maintain our spirits awake and aware in order to fully grasp every meaningful moment in the program. I enjoyed meeting amazing people from different states, since I rarely get to meet such friendly and relatable people who stand their grounds passionately and yet are open to discussion and to sharing new ideas.

One of the highlights of the program was the breaking news workshop by CNN producer Brian Rokus. He was one of the most energetic and hilarious people I’ve ever met, and he unfailingly transmits his energy whether you try to soak in it or not.

He also discarded the narrow view of journalism I held for a long time. Journalism is stereotypically portrayed as a boring office job with personal opinions disguised as newsworthy stories. However, I have never seen someone as excited about their job as he is, especially due to the exposure he’s had abroad. He gave us insight into some of the stories he has covered, such as 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, and he discussed the inconveniences and challenges he has faced along the way while covering stories of that magnitude. 

I’ve also learned that broadcast journalism is not only about catastrophic events, even though it is usually interpreted that way. Rather, it is more about humanizing stories in order to show people that there are issues out there that need to be addressed. Although broadcast journalism is not my specific area of interest, Rokus’ enthusiasm inspires me to at least consider it, and also encourages me to work on my communication skills, which are vital regardless of what career I decide to pursue.

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