Working here in the nation’s capital doing the thing I am passionate about – journalism – is truly more of an exhilarating experience than I had ever dreamt it would be.
I don’t know if I’ve ever been more frustrated with the way our government works – its shortcomings, its corruption, its politics. And yet at the same time, I don’t think I’ve ever felt that it was this possible to be heard and make a difference with journalism.
I’m watching my colleagues and friends around me expose real corruption — misappropriated funds and legislators with conflicts of interest out the kazoo. One of my fellow National Journalism Center interns produced this fabulous piece just last month exposing John Kerry for his financial interests:
Many accuse journalists of only spotlighting government’s failures, and failing to highlight its successes. There is definitely some truth to that. Part of being a responsible journalist means giving readers an accurate portrayal of people and of policies. But it is also fundamentally the role of a journalist to dig deeper. To make connections that other people may not have the time to find. To bring to light things that might otherwise seem hidden.
Sure, it’s nice to get a pat on the back every once in a while. But when it comes down to it, government, as with any agency, should be continually focusing its energies on striving to improve, rather than hanging onto lingering successes. It’s the role of the press to remind them of that.
The world of politics just seems so much more real and close to home when you sit in the press gallery of the senate, or see President Obama’s motorcade whooshing past on the street.
We can’t all be massive giants in world history like Rosa Parks or Woodward and Bernstein or Mother Teresa. But as a wise professor at Biola once taught me, we do our part to make that dent of difference in the world around us.
For some, that means working at an orphanage in a third world country. For others, it means glorifying God by running and feeling His glory, as it was for Eric Liddell. For some, it’s teaching in a classroom and equipping little ones with the knowledge they need for life. For me, I believe it is journalism.
That wise professor told a story about a very young boy who murdered someone. It sounded like an unbelievable story. He asked my classmates and myself what we would do, and what the solution was. Ultimately, no one, non-divine person could be the solution. But what would I have done? Write about it.
Being here, like I said, has made me so much more acutely aware of what is wrong with our government, and beyond that, what is wrong with human nature.
So, what do we do about it? The answer isn’t exactly the same for any two people.
But enough sermonizing.
I guess all I am trying to say is that living here in the nation’s capital has opened my eyes to see more flaws than I had been in a position to see before. But it has also made me realize that those flaws don’t necessarily have to be concealed or enduring.
Signing off now from the second floor of the Cosi Cafe on Third Street because neither the Starbucks by my house nor the one on Third Street have the dependable, free Wi-Fi access they promised they would by July 1. But enough about the world’s injustices…
Weeks down: 5
Left to go: 5