What I want to do with journalism

I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has taken the time to read this blog over the past 13 weeks.

This isn’t the end of this blog, by any means. But as some of you may know, I resurrected this blog to fulfill a class assignment, which is now ending. I wish I could tell you that I had the motivation to write a thoughtful, well-researched post on an issue facing journalism every single week, but something tells me that’ll be unlikely to happen.

That said, I do hope to continue to post, and hopefully I’ll be able to share thoughts with you all and cool things that I find in the world of journalism.

I really do, truly, think that if journalists can learn to take their profession seriously, take responsibility for their actions, and focus on the good, the true, and the beautiful in the world, we’ll all be a lot better off as a result. Of course, I’m still learning how to do that myself, as are so many others.

I don’t want this to read like a college entrance essay, but I’d like to talk a bit more about some broad ideas about what kind of a journalist I’d like to be.

I originally chose to become a journalist because I liked making videos— it sounds trivial, but that was originally my main motivating factor. In a way, though, I had the makings of a journalist for a while— I always loved reading and writing, but I especially loved learning new things, and had a knack for retaining facts and trivia. Plus from a young age I was obsessed with making movies— hence the attraction to video.

Once I found it, the notion that journalism was my vocation was obvious. I’m now almost halfway done earning a Master’s degree in the subject. The question now is: what should I do now? How should I best put the skills I’ve been taught to use?

I want to use the profession of journalism to affect real, substantial change in the world. I think journalism, when done well, can foster a debate in our society about things that matter and can lift people out of ignorance and apathy. The best journalism, in my mind, is informative, fair, and serves the public’s best interests. (Check out a previous post of mine that expands on Walter Williams’ famous journalist’s creed.)

Above all, I want my journalism to be informed by a Catholic worldview. My faith is no secret to those who know me, and there are a couple of reasons why I think bringing my faith into my work is not only necessary for me as a person, but will lead to the best possible outcomes for my readers, too. I want my writing to serve all people in accordance with their God-given dignity as human beings— in other words, with love. Of course, you don’t have to be Catholic to want these things, but I personally think it’s the best way to go about it. I don’t think you even have to brand yourself as a “Catholic journalist” to adopt this mindset.

I think of Dorothy Day, who worked as a journalist in the 1910s and 20s, and eventually converted to Catholicism and devoted herself to a life of service to others, often marked by radical devotion. I’m inspired by Malcolm Muggeridge, a BBC reporter who was reportedly a pretty bad egg— until he encountered Mother Teresa, and found Christianity through the example of the great saint.  

There are so many other figures, Catholic and otherwise, who are doing great work in the world of media that I admire: Bishop Robert Barron, Stephen Colbert, Steven Greydanus, Matt Fradd, and of course, Pope Francis.

I can’t wait to see what’s coming next. Thanks again for reading this blog.

-Jonah

P.S. More podcast episodes are coming soon!

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2 thoughts on “What I want to do with journalism

  1. Yay! Well done!

    On Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 7:31 PM Good News, Everyone! wrote:

    > Jonah McKeown posted: “I’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who has > taken the time to read this blog over the past 13 weeks. This isn’t the end > of this blog, by any means. But as some of you may know, I resurrected this > blog to fulfill a class assignment, which is now” >

    Like

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