My dream job would be a digital Nomad, reporter capturing the cultural richness of the world. Someone along the lines of Anthony Bourdain’s cameraman. Or even hike it out alone like my greatest YouTube inspiration Even Meets World. But essentially video journalism, and photojournalism is the industry in which I feel passionately.
Particularly as it pertains to cultural awareness and cultural celebration. I would like to make visually edifying content for cultural awareness and celebration.
Cultural awareness is something that has interested me for a very very long time. From a young age I wanted to learn many languages and traditions. Besides drawing I would spend time learning French, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Italian, and Swahili, Yoruba and Nosa. And might I add, not particularly well, but I loved learning about languages and the culture behind them. On on the other side of things, cultural celebration is something in which I strongly believe. It’s a part of what makes the world rich, the various differences between peoples. Eventually Anthropology (the study of various peoples and cultures) seemed like a natural path for a while. Sophomore year I was on my way to Loyola University in Chicago to study just that before life had other plans. (i.e. cost).
In the field of video journalism, I don’t necessarily want to tell the story. I just want to capture, and leave it for it’s own interpretation. This is incredibly important because I feel bias is an incredibly crippling element of good journalism. In fact the UK has even noticed how important it is for the news to be devoid of bias. Phillip Bloom, a UK photojournalist explains”UK TV news for example is forbidden to be politically biased”.
I have also seen the ill effects of journalistic bias firsthand. When documenting the event of Ferguson. The actual events happening in Ferguson vs. the events portrayed on the news were skewed in incredibly disturbing ways. And in many cases, bias had a huge role to play. Another ill of video journalism is the mindset that drama sells. While this is true, video journalists SHOULD have a greater obligation to what is TRUE. Especially since they have the power to determine how the viewer first interacts with the media.
Since no dream job is perfect, I thought I should include a reality check portion. Aka, the pro’s and con’s list.
Being a female in this industry can be difficult, especially when dealing with foreign locations with stigmas against females.
-Sucky conditions. The conditions can be horrible
-lugging equipment everywhere can suck
-potential for long and even longer hours. Life is unpredictable. And especially when capturing video for documentary style footage, your time frame may need to follow the unpredictable flow of life’s timing.
Also, video journalists get the short end of the stick in terms of being noticed. Usually the talking heads get the most recognition. As a long time video journalist comments:
“Just how important
are must not be underestimated. Without people like [them] and the countless others working in TV news, risking their lives to make sure what needs to be told is told, we would live in the dark ages, and some of the most desperate plights of man, the injustices, would never be highlighted and we would remain ignorant. Yes, some TV news programmes are biased and their journalism can, at times, be questionable, but I am a firm believer that these are in the minority.”- Phillip Bloom, a journalist of 25 years and video journalist of 17 years.
However, the lack of limelight works for some folks; including me! I’d prefer to do the background work.
While video journalism can traditional be seen as the dangerous work of going overseas or other heated situations in order to capture video, there is a sweeter side.
-Travel travel travel! If nothing thrills you more than traveling this is a great career. A few places I would love to film at: Brooklyn, Seoul, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Ocho Rios, Osaka, Tokyo, and so much more.
-Rewarding- especially with news covering different events, journalists can be proud that they’re making the news available to people around the world.
Stories to tell the youngins- you will always have some interesting stories to tell your little ones.
Meet Interesting People- You have the opportunity to meet a wealth of people from all sorts of backgrounds. A few folk I’d love to interview: Cornell West, John Perkins, Desmond Tutu, and Benjamin Zephaniah
Feed your own curiosity- instead of getting the news after it is filtered through the media, you have a first hand raw account of the situation. So what better platform to feed your curiosity?
A few programs I enjoy that utilize photojournalism elements in a fun way:
Eat your Kimchi- Marries Canadian Expats Living in Korea sharing their life. Very fun to watch
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Noisey Jamaica- Covers cultural trends and pop culture all around Jamaica.
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Evan Meets World- One of my favorites. An American Expat that mainy docyments his travels in India, however he features other videos.
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Style Etiquette- A fashion and culture program that explores trends around the world.
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All in all, every dream job has it flaws, but as the old adage goes- “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. And that is what I hope to do!