I had the opportunity of attending one of this year’s honor medal lectures. As always, I am completely inspired by these individuals to do even more effective work in the journalism field. I went to listen to John Ferrugia, an investigative journalist at Denver station. I want to dig deep. I want to be a person who unearths injustices. I want to reveal what is concealed. Investigative journalism is definitely an outlet to do so.
Ferrugia said something that really stuck with me: He’s not an advocacy journalist. He just presents the facts. Those facts just happen to be similar to the butterfly effect, in which a butterfly’s wings can cause a hurricane to occur half-way across the world. Small
breakthroughs, little tips that come into the station, can have a huge impact not only locally, but nationally and internationally as well.
Journalists have to understand that as a defender of the public trust, we have a huge responsibility. We must evaluate where our loyalties lie. If we don’t, then we will be easily turned away from learning and revealing the truth. The public trusts us to be a gatekeeper of the welfare of society. Whatever goes on in Vegas, should not stay in Vegas. If it’s illegal, if it’s infringing upon justice, then it should be addressed.
This is probably the sole purpose of being involved in “watchdog” journalism. We have to keep a watch on things that may so easily slip through the cracks because of some who are not trained to look for it. We must always be prepared to take on those in high ranks who may mistreat those who don’t have the “privilege,” or means, to ride first class.
We may not be advocates for a cause, but we are catalysts that can cause hurricanes
halfway around the world.