Like any other child thrown into an adult body walking around university, I constantly feel insecure about what I want to be doing with "the rest of my life". Twenty years down, sixty to go, I know I like writing but I don't know about forever. What can I possibly say? Won't I run out of things to say?
The South East Journalism Convention answered those questions for me. I'll never run out of things to say because there will never be a shortage of things to uncover. Journalism is about truth and there will never be a shortage of truth for as long as Donald Trump is in office and the most powerful men in the country remain men. Journalists are the people's first line of defense.
For what I like to call "tattling" others refer to as "whistle blowing". I sat in on a panel speaking about how to work around administration to get the details of a story such as in the LSU hazing incident that stole a child's life only a month after his parents dropped him off. The truth must get out and as journalists, we must find and work within a medium the common people can reach and understand. Today, this medium exists as writing and text but continues to move towards photojournalism and video. With our tools of grammar and strategic wording, we can do what governments fail to do, change hearts and minds and be that call to action.
It was refreshing to be surrounded by so many students hungry for the truth. Students that were happy discussing current politics and scandals because it wasn't just complaining, it was an active dialogue. Journalists hungry for change in any way they can reach, ready for any opportunity to change the dialogue, ready to discuss the problems at hand.
We need citizens that will stand up to government and institutions; that will put themselves in uncomfortable situations and spam their name in government officials' inboxes. We are the change we wish to see in the world. We are the people protecting the people. We are the people's first line of defense and we won't stop because we won't ever get to.