How My Daughter Saved Journalism

Gegham Vardanyan

Physicist by education, journalist by occupation

The other day my 13-year-old daughter saved journalism. Not journalism in Armenia. Journalism in the entire world.

There’s this game that if the world disappeared and life started from zero, which three professions would be needed to save the future? Each player in the game has to make a case for one profession.

My daughter got journalism. And she was able to convincingly explain to the other players that if there are no journalists, no one will remember how humanity was and won’t be able to convey accurate stories to the future inhabitants of the planet. The journalist’s profession was saved.

This story inspired me to write about the powerful attributes of journalists. Clearly, I don’t know everyone and each journalist is unique, but there are features that are common

Journalists learn quickly.

The profession is such: every day to become acquainted with and research a new task, person, domain and then convey what you learned and perceived to the audience. The skill of receiving, filling in, verifying, and describing information is very valuable. 

Journalists are constantly improving themselves. 

Over the years in their profession, they refine what they’re not very good at. They learn to shoot photos and videos, work with new computer software and mobile apps, to use constantly evolving technologies.

Journalists adhere to deadlines.

When you have to produce a story on time every day, you learn to manage your time and not be late. This important skill makes journalists very responsible toward their work. 

Journalists are industrious.

This profession doesn’t have normal working hours. Journalists usually work in a day as much as is necessary to finish the story. They don’t avoid new responsibilities and assume them with honor.

Journalists are critical thinkers.

At university, they’re told, “If your mother says I love you, check.” They have to check by their own experience, reveal the invisible links, break the stereotypes, check the information, and find the answers to all the main questions.

Journalists multitask.

They don’t just write text: they can take photos, shoot video, and develop images with the help of editing software. They know how to find necessary information quickly online. In many cases, journalists do a researcher’s work — putting forth theories in record time, checking them, and drawing conclusions. 

Journalists are the bearers of moral values.

Journalism is a humanitarian profession. The codes of ethics with which signatory journalists promise not to accept gifts, stay away from conflicts of interest, and voluntarily agree to many other restrictions of the job are not random. Journalists know how to work with children and how to represent vulnerable groups in society. They don’t join misanthropic initiatives.

Journalists love their work.

They work a lot and often earn little, but they don’t complain. The reason is love of the profession. Journalism is one of the most interesting professions in the world, and journalists are interesting people.

Gegham Vardanyan

The views expressed in the column are those of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of Media.am.

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