Monday, May 19, 2014


I started to research the profession journalist, reporter, person who captures and documents a story and being well, helpless. Unable to do or change anything in, or on a certain situation. Their job is to tell the story, have the voices and hearts of the people be heard and shown and move on to the next story.

I listened to two Ted Talks from journalists Janine di Giovanni and Giles Duley. Janine is a foreign correspondent who has reported in Bosnia during the Bosnian War and many other wars in; Libya, Congo, Egypt, etc. She has so many horrific stories that she can tell and a couple she tells really stuck out to me. 

She had friend in who lived in Sarajevo, Bosnia. Her friend was on her way to work when she looked up she saw a giant tank moving forward in the streets and crashing down buildings as it came. In her mini skirt she crouched down behind a garbage can and thought to herself, "I feel like I am in Alice and Wonderland. Like I'm sinking into the giant black hole." A long while after that Janine and her same friend were walking down a street and they began seeing these red lawn chairs at least 12,000 that went down the street and looked never ending; as far as the eye could see. The red chairs represented all the people (adults and children) who had been killed in the Bosnian War, at that time so far.

Janine says she knows she can't stop war. Knows that she doesn't work for the U.N., or President to a middle eastern country. You feel for the people and the country, you hear so many stories of lose and utter pain and usually strikes and pain and desire to want to stop the war, but she knows that isn't her job. Her job is report and tell these stories of civilians, happenings of the war Yes, she may feel helpless (she has), but all she knows is that she is "a witness."

Words that have stuck out me and come to my mind listening to her Ted Talk were: delude & witness. I have studied these words and this is what I got:
Delude: 1. to mislead the mind or judgement of: device, trick 2. obsolete a: frustrate,disappoint b: evade, elude
Witness: a person who sees something (such as a crime) happen
Then I looked at the definition for reporter. 
Reporter: a person who writes new stories for a newspaper, magazine, etc., or who tells the news on the radio or television

What I take from these words and from what Janine said is... that as a reporter who decides to cover over sea stories (any stories really) you cannot delude you mind and say, "That when you go over there to that place you can change the people or that country." "That you can change the circumstances of the people's situation." You're simply the witness that see's the things that happen to them and bring their silent, invisible voice's a voice!

As sad as that may sound there is still a silver lining to being a reporter even though we may not be able to change reality. Photojournalist Giles Duley has a inspirational and horrific story, just a little background of Duley first; he used to be a photographer in the fashion industry and music photography, but quit to pursue his interest in documentary photography. In 2011, Duley was in Afghanistan and unknowingly stepped on a improvised explosive device, losing both of his legs and left arm.

Duley at first doubted his work, thought it was over, but then he thought about his story (he became aprat of a story) and about how you can called be disabled, but not be disabled, that he can still work. He is quoted saying, "It (the lose of three limbs) is going to give me greater insight and empathy into people's suffering and hopefully put me in a better position to tell their stories. Because that's all I am, a storyteller." Through his own tragedy Duley has learned that his storytelling has made a difference because he has captured stories of people all around the world and with his stories he can make a difference.

The main thing that draws me to this topic and discussion is I see the acceptance in these two journalists as humans. The acceptance in their life with circumstances and their small ability to change the world, but in a HUGE way they shed light to poverty, war, controversial topics, etc. And it doesn't matter if no one, or nothing brings total attention to the story, or topic because they have done their... duty. Both make a difference in the world through their work and within their work have found peace, aspiration, gratitude, thankfulness, and grace, along with empathy. As do many other journalists I am sure with their work.

Someday I hope to gain that gracefulness in my work and total acceptance in the fact that what I do is enough, but that will probably happen when I'm 60. Ha. I am one to want to bring that voice to the people in the darkest corners of the world and hope in some small way that I did the right thing... I have made a difference. I hope in my work I can bring a light and voice to those who need it and ultimately be a storyteller.

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