Sunday, March 8, 2009

Raising Awareness Where it is Needed

Edited by Ellen Schnier
by Sally Ann Cruikshank

Photo Courtesy of UNICEF

I believe that as international correspondents, or even as domestic journalists, it is important to raise awareness where it needs to be raised. I think the best way to do that is to give people who are not underrepresented or stricken with poverty tangible evidence that can put the situation into perspective. Take for example the Indonesian family in the documentary we watched who lived next to the railroad tracks. Just telling someone that a poor family lives next to the railroad tracks is not enough. Showing that image of the man with one arm and one leg with his small children sleeping next to oncoming trains, however, is powerful. It's an image that doesn't easily leave your mind. That kind of awareness can lead to change and improvements for the underrepresented.

I think in order to represent the world's poorest, you must first respect them. I believe that respect for others is the most important part of being a journalist. No matter what someone's situation in life is, he needs to be treated like a human being. As for U.S. interests, I believe that a journalist should leave those policies at the door as best as possible. A journalist's job is to bring injustices to light, no matter what country or government is behind them.

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