The theme of this semester seems to be ‘investigative journalism’, and I’m all for it. I mean, one of my favourite fictional TV role models, Rory Gilmore of The Gilmore Girls (now on Netflix – goodbye spare time), wanted to be a journalist and liked to do undercover, investigative pieces. If she can do it, so can I – right? But if I’m being honest with myself, the truth is that I like to read investigative pieces (the suspense! the mystery! the thrill!), but I don’t like writing them. So that makes me a little nervous for assignments coming my way over the next few months!
I’m currently reading All the President’s Men, which really is investigative journalism at its best. I’m only a few years younger than Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward were when they started investigating Watergate and the Nixon administration’s abuse of power and I’m just sitting here, wondering, if I’ll ever be able to investigate and write like they did. Here’s hoping! It’s important to investigate suspicious activities and hold powers to account – journalistic reporting is key for keeping governments and organizations accountable for their actions and, as the Charlie Hebdo tragedy last week reminds us, is extremely important for upholding freedom of speech and the democratic process. Even though my endgame isn’t journalism, I still hope to work with the same courage and integrity as investigative journalists.
Last June, I attended an international conference on human rights and investigative journalism at The University of Winnipeg, Holding Power to Account: Investigative Journalism, Democracy, and Human Rights, and it was such an inspiring weekend! The conference got me revved up for CreComm and dispelled the tiny doubts I had that my degree in Conflict Resolution and Human Rights wouldn’t intersect well with communications – here were people doing important work, work that I wanted to do. I got to hear Peter Mansbridge and Adrienne Arsenault share their experiences. And I got to meet Carl Bernstein, who was the Keynote Speaker (he signed my copy of All the President’s Men – book nerd moment).
I leave you with a video of Carl Bernstein’s Keynote Address from last year’s conference. It’s pretty dang inspiring.
PS: Here’s a little preview of next week’s post – it involves Mennonites, girls who can cook, and something starting with p and ending in rogies. It’s going to be delicious. Until next time!