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A letter to the journalism student in the time of madness

A letter to the journalism student in the time of madness

From Lufti Dervishi/ Dear friend,

Today the letter has lost its power, unlike yesterday when sentences, words and letters placed next to each other had a different weight.

However, I chose the letter, because the thoughts expressed on it remain the most sincere, the most felt, the most righteous.

Do you know that you have chosen for your life the best profession in the world?

This is what Gabriel Garcia Marquez once said! But to succeed you need enthusiasm, curiosity and a lot of patience.

It is the best profession in the world because every day is different, passing through a path that often twists and turns, putting you through trials that you will hate at first and then love.

Journalism is changing, so fast that maybe by the end of this article, artificial intelligence will have brought something new to you and me.

Journalists today, unlike yesterday, today no longer have the monopoly of the "guard of information".

The digital age has made it possible for anyone with a cell phone and internet access to write what their mind tells them and present what catches their eye. By everyone, I also mean idiots, delirious, scumbags, charlatans, tuafs and torollaks. We have them around as models not to be followed but to be studied.

The journalist, unlike yesterday, is no longer under daily pressure. The pressure is every hour, every minute, every second.

Politicians, unlike yesterday, today no longer need the media to communicate with voters. This democratization of information is a double-edged sword. On one side we have freedom and diversity, on the other side biased information, propaganda and unverified "news" have flooded the environment.

Unlike yesterday where "facts were sacred and free opinions" today is the complete opposite.

Opinions are sacred and facts matter of interpretation.

Today, what happens in the room of the analyst/opinionist in the studio is more important than what happens in reality and is reported by the journalist on the scene.

If the model for becoming a good journalist is the TV moderator and analyst in time to change profession.

But if you stay in this craft you have to face the big spider web.

Social media today makes it possible for rumors, sensationalism, lies, intrigue, half-truths, urban legends, fabrications, propaganda and disinformation to spread at the speed of light.

The challenge is to keep your mind in this "madness" and have the patience to pass the epidemic of stupidity and try to understand and tell the truth. Do not order!

There is no point in racing for speed anymore. The market here is overcrowded. Accuracy and clarity are the big misses in the overcrowded "news" scene.

It is inevitable that you will be wrong because of bias, haste and sometimes traps, but you will be more reliable when you admit the mistake. The main currency is credibility!

Despite all the fuss, don't lose your faith. Your job is to light the candle in the darkness, give a voice to those who have none, and make those in power not sleep easy because of your pen.

At the center of your magnifying glass is not the individual, but the mechanism that spawned the problem. If the lights are not thrown on this "mechanism", individuals will give way to each other. (A good advice from Niko Nikola; when he decides to write, the journalist must have a clean hand, a cold mind and a warm heart.)

You are not a prosecutor, judge, lawyer, notary, executor, expert, analyst, opinion columnist, commentator. You have a bigger task: To tell people what is going on by explaining the invisible or the poison that is packaged as candy.

To understand what is happening, it is not enough to look, but you also have to listen carefully.

It's not enough to just give information, you have to inform.

People without information become paranoid.

Misinformed people are dangerous, propaganda indoctrinated people are stupid devils.

Well-informed people make a better country.

And in this time of pandemic stupidity, the duty of the journalist remains the same: the responsibility to inform and tell the truth. And the truth sets you free.