Chat with the chief: Joy-nalism

It was 1:44 a.m. as I stared at the blank word document open on my laptop, racking my brain to decide on a topic to write about in this space.

It was far from the first time I was kept up long into the night working on this publication. Rare is the day that I am not spending at least some amount of time working on matters pertaining to the Torch. Pondering this thought, I came to a conclusion on my topic.

It had to happen eventually. This is my column on how much journalism means to me.

First, I’ll provide some background on my life around the industry. My father was a sports journalist for longer than I’ve been alive. I spent my youth earning hard-earned tips by delivering newspapers around my neighborhood. I worked on my high school newspaper, and submitting an application at the Torch was a necessary part of my campus tour at Ferris. I practically have newspaper ink in my veins.

While growing up, I wanted to be a journalist. I was sure that’s what I would earn a degree in, and spend my life doing. Then I realized what a dire state the industry was in.

Publications were struggling to come by subscribers and advertisers in a world where one could just as easily read “listicles” online and place an ad on craigslist for free.

Yet here you are, the reader, seeing this article online or holding the physical paper in your hands. The Torch was founded in 1931 and it has endured.

Around this time five years ago, former Torch Editor in Chief Ben Thayer wrote an editorial titled “Not going anywhere,” about his belief that newspapers—at least smaller town newspapers—would endure even despite the ongoing rapid advances in technology.

Journalists serve a grander purpose than just writing fluff pieces for a tabloid magazine. We hold people accountable for their actions, and present true and unbiased information in an understandable and widely accessible medium.

There is a reason that freedom of the press is a constitutional right.

Journalists act as a link between society and the individual, bridging the gap and forming a means of communication between the two. It can be a platform for the individual to stand on, or a public forum for the blending of ideas in a community.

Journalism is important to me, because it is important to the world.

Because of its relevance in our society, I cannot imagine a future in which real journalism no longer exists.

Ben Thayer may have said it best. We’re, “not going anywhere.”