Friday, December 08, 2006

A journalist is someone who loves life...

During the little time that I've been practicing my career, my love at first sight and eventual passion, Journalism, I've learned that: a journalist is someone who loves life. By life I mean new people, cultures, different sensations, novel stories, places, all kinds of things. Today I did a story on Daniel Edwards, the artist who made the polemic sculpture of Castro. Today's work made me come to several conclusions. For instance, in my humble opinion as an art critic, I think Daniel Edwards' works are mediocre. He has made a controversial sculpture of Hillary Clinton, in which he shows her breasts, but that's all he does with his art: controversy. I seriously doubt the originality and talent one might find in his works. The Castro sculpture made him national news material. Lucky Daniel, he got the public attention he'd never gotten before. Analyzing him from a distance, I think he used the Cuban exiles' hatred towards Castro to gain fame and money. Now he created Spears giving birth in an unthinkable position, another way of his of striking the viewers with a controversy.
Yet, being a journalist is about loving life and seeing both sides of the stories and meeting the main characters of the stories in person, while everybody else is seeing them through a TV screen. And you have to love the people with their vanity and horrors; otherwise, you'll stop loving the career. Most of the time journalists cannot tell the viewers bluntly and straight to their faces the reality of what's being said. They must be objective.
We, journalists, must speak properly. But even when we can't or don't, we know truths, or parts of it that nobody else knows. We are different species. We are a different breed. I drive around overtown, on my way to the gallery with the camera man, and I'm not thinking that it's a bad neighborhood and I'm in danger, like my mother would think. I think instead of the people and their stories. I look closely at the American looking, blonde girl who holds hands with a skinny, white boy, while a black guy talks to them. I wonder if they're there to buy drugs. I wonder what all the people on the streets are planning and dreaming of. I question how has society and its systems fail them, when I see a group of strong, black boys riding bicycles, hanging around, talking, walking. All this at 3 in the afternoon on a Friday. Shouldn't they be working? I know I'm here. I know I'm going to shoot a story. I'm working. But what are they doing? Why aren't they doing something, going somewhere?
That's a little of how it is and feels to be a journalist. You question yourself, then you question others, sometimes you have the courage to ask, but all the time you wish to know.


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