Hannah Scribbles

My Entry Essay to the Journalism Program

In News & Media on December 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm

Before I was ten years old, I knew that I wanted to be a writer. I was obnoxiously curious. I liked to ask questions and record the answers. Using my computer, I typed up the day’s accounts: “Red Car Drives Past,” “Pizza Planned for Friday,” or “Horse Says Fence is too Tall.”
By the time I graduated high school, journalism had a different meaning to me. It was darker, more serious. A friend of the mayor’s was arrested but not prosecuted on theft charges; it didn’t make the local paper. A toddler locked himself in a hot van and suffocated, and the paper reported; my neighbors were investigated for child abuse. I wanted to know what constituted news and who made it. I was curious.
During the next two years, I studied journalism at a junior college. I learned about public relations, dabbled in features writing and became assistant editor of the college paper, The Commuter. I questioned truth and whether journalists were inherently biased, I debated with professors over the ethics of photojournalism and, in the end, I decided to study philosophy as well.
After graduating junior college, I looked to the Rutgers journalism program for more knowledge. I am still curious. I want to understand more and, even if it is only to a small audience, I want to communicate that understanding to others.
The world is immense, and humanity is complicated. The public deserves to know more about the local government that affects it directly. The people deserve explanations rather than interpretations and to have science put into understandable terms. They need complex issues broken down and cataloged, one piece at a time, so they can put it back together in their own words, with their own voices.
In two or three years I see myself communicating information. The city might be Kansas City, Boston or Pittsburgh. I envision myself in a big newsroom or working from home, writing late into the night while the world surges forward. News does not stop, information is everywhere, and there I am, learning more so I can put the pieces together and write it down for others.


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