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May 2, 2007

Opinions

The reason I got interested in journalism was because of Hunter S. Thompson. I started reading his books and began to idolize his persona. This was four years ago, since then I have tried way too hard to be like him. I bought a cigarette holder for my smokes, I drink Wild Turkey bourbon, and take a very skeptical view of everything. Then last semester I had an assignment where we were supposed to emulate, in writing, our favorite author. I chose Hunter and came to epiphany as I was writing the project two hours before deadline and drunk. I realized that I couldn't be him, I would be doing a disservice to myself and his legacy to completely copy him. If was going to respect him and the industry I would have to carve out my own niche. So that's where I am at now.

I think the future of journalism for me is in more subjective analysis and reporting. Fox News is tipping the scales away from objective journalism. They have an agenda it is quite obvious which "house" it is coming from. I think there is space in journalism for opinion. It requires a high amount of respect for the reader. We have to trust that they will know what is opinion and what is hard news. This requires transparency and complete honesty with the reader.

I want to be a correspondent some day, perhaps writing both hard news and more interesting opinion based features. I can't see myself writing for a newspaper, unless they give me tremendous leeway. I can't do a blog there seems to be too many of those already. Perhaps books, or sky writing. Sky writing is an under-appreciated medium.