By Brooke Miller
Sarah LaBlanc is a senior News, Internet, and Politics major with a passion for the press. She is also the current editor of Drake’s student ran magazine Drake Political Review. Walking into The Atlantic offices her expression told you she was right at home.
“Walking in and seeing that big bookshelf just filled with all these brilliant works and people’s desk’s wonderfully cluttered with research was like a dream,” said LaBlanc. “My expectations were that I would find justification for the degree that I am doing and a renewed sense of passion.”
We have many students on this trip with backgrounds in both journalism and politics. After this election, both of these fields seem to be in a precarious position as far as public opinion is concerned. While President Trump’s sensational campaign helped boost media sales, his constant criticism of “the biased media” has people calling for reform in journalism.
As a group one evening, we discussed the media’s current role in today’s politics. While professional reporting still exists in those journalist who dig for the details and verify each fact, technology has sped up the process causing journalist to be tempted to cut corners in order to break a story first. The 24-hour news cycle has been a slippery slope for the media industry to battle, creating a struggle between breaking a story for ratings and being the gatekeepers that journalist were intended to be. So now we find ourselves in a world of hot takes and tweets. With the role of the media now in question, as young professional journalist about to venture off into this world, we can’t help but ask ourselves, what kind of journalist do we want to be?
“In my role of political discourse, I would like to bring back the role of gatekeepers. To not publish anything until it has been 100 percent verified,” said LaBlanc. “I want a reputation as someone who can be trusted and respected. I also want to be someone whose writing inspires people to make a difference in their community. I believe that’s where change starts.”
The pen has always been mightier than the sword. So how will you fight with it?