Journalism can give so much fulfillment to reporters. It can be an art, a craft, and to some, it can even be a calling. We have the privilege of giving a voice to the voiceless. We have the ability to uncover the concealed. Whether we like to admit it or not, our presence can influence the story. But what happens when the storytellers become the story?
Laura Ling experienced this. An exceptional journalist, Ling is known for her work in television news and Current TV as a correspondent.
But while reporting in the field, Ling became the story when she and another female journalist were captured and detained by North Korean soldiers. She survived and was eventually released to go home. You can watch a video here.
No matter where we are, or what story we're covering, there is always a possibility that our lives may be in danger at a moment's notice. So how do we cope?
Ling mentioned during her speech at the University of Missouri that she focused on meditating. As objective as we're supposed to be, journalists have their own beliefs, or lack thereof. The best bet is to have, as our professor Greeley Kyle puts it, a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude).
In desperate times, desperate measures may need to be taken. However, it is important to remain as calm as humanly possible. We need to be able to think through the situation. Ling befriended her captors and was able to make a connection with them.
It can be difficult, but maintaining sanity while you're in danger on the frontline is essential.
Please click "Read More" for Personal Reflection.
As a native of East St. Louis, IL, I have often received shocked looks when I disclose that information to others who know of the reputation of my hometown. For those who don't, let's just say my city has quite a bit to work on.
Just because it has a reputation, doesn't mean every resident lives up to it. My focus has always been on ways to better the community I come from, the community I currently and will live in, as well as the global community.
I don't believe that one place is completely serene. We will always confront certain issues, but the point is that the confrontation changes the situation as a part of the bigger picture.
I would love to utilize my career as a journalist to have such an impact. I often say, "Bad news may sell, but good news builds." We need something that the people can hold on to and run with toward a direction of positivity, of awareness. Instead of perpetuating the negative, let's shine a light on what is good. You never know what type of impact it may have on and for that community.