I’m slowly but also anxiously becoming aware of the role I want to fulfill as a journalist, though it makes me nervous. The SPJ code of ethics tells us that a part of our job is to be a watchdog, but at the same time it tells us that we shouldn’t participate in things outside of our job that would make us bias (like protests and political forums). But if we’re to become a watchdog, and a good one, are we to also only educate ourselves in state, structural, and political narratives? That seems anti-productive to me. It doesn’t make sense.
A part of the problem within media, and news media especially, is that it unconsciously does reiterate those narratives (representing people of color largely only when it involves sports or crimes—now also protests but oftentimes through the lens that they are being antithetical to their own movement, referencing riots or looting). To deny a journalist the ability to understand movements and activism is to deny their very ability to write a contextual, correct framework when it’s being discussed.
Underdeveloped aside: Moreover, I feel as if the journalistic field is making a slight turn in acknowledging that journalists (and everyone) cannot truly write objectively, and since they can’t, they need to make clear where exactly they are coming from, what background, what information, what niche.