Opinion: Why Digital Journalism?

Featured image is from the Digital Journalism Telepresence class in December 2019, celebrating Digital Journalism being approved as a course that fulfills the UC/Cal State A-G Fine Art requirement. (Ethic Photo)

“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world” – Henry R. Luce

By ARIANA GHALAMBOR

For some, Digital Journalism was just a semester-long class that they could take to acquire their Fine Arts elective credits, but for me it’s much more than that.

Throughout my first semester in AP United States History, I overheard several students always talking about Digital Journalism and I had always wondered why. It wasn’t until later in the winter time it dawned on me when I was approached by Mrs. Aranda if I would be interested in writing for her journalism class and joining the crew.

I was stuck between a rock and a hard place. In order for me to join digital journalism, it meant that I had to drop my year-long elective for AP computer science. It took me a few weeks of pondering, but the day before going to Winter Break I decided to take a leap and trust journalism.

I had been interested in journalism for a number of reasons: I was a good writer, I needed a creative outlet, I enjoyed the teacher in her other classes and I needed friends at that time.

As soon as I walked into the classroom and saw a classroom filled with bright-eyed students that were just as excited to be there as I was, I knew I was in the right place. I walked into the room with no expectations or even second thoughts. I walked in crouched over, with an awkward smile on my face as I hadn’t known anyone in the classroom. I decided to sit down at whichever desk was closest to the teacher, out of fear I wouldn’t fit in.

As soon as I sat down I met with other people that were similar to me. They were good writers too, they had also enjoyed having the creative outlet to dump all of their thoughts and passions into an article, and they were absolutely welcoming to me.

Immediately, I was excited to get to writing. I had a list filled with ideas for articles to write. But in January 2020, there were tensions between Iran and America that filled me with worry as an Iranian-American, so I got to work. It did not take long for me to write this article. It was what I was most passionate about: my culture, politics, current events. I had felt so proud of that article; it was my pride and joy. When I saw my name on the Ethic and La Plaza websites with my masterpiece, I felt a rush of happiness and excitement.

“Journalism, like democracy, is not something that is achieved. It is a work in progress, and not every day is as good as the last.” – John Maxwell Hamilton

That excitement and feeling I had from my first published article had filled me with motivation to continue writing. That feeling makes me want to continue to write to my heart’s content. Today, digital journalism is one of the classes I am most passionate about. The students in this class are like-minded and all unique in their own way and provide different outlooks on events that I was equally as interested in.

“Digital Journalism allows for me to write anything I want, wherever I want. Even from the comfort of my own home.” – author unknown

The class makes me feel empowered and safe, I enjoy every moment of digital journalism. I enjoy the “fun Fridays,” the independent writing time, being able to share my work with my classmates, discussing different topics in a fun way where we are all open minded to one another’s ideas. Digital Journalism for me means to be myself and to share my thoughts, ideas, comments, and personality. 

With this school year coming to an end, I know in my heart that I will miss Digital Journalism more than anything else (especially those boring chemistry and math tests).

“Either write something worth reading- or do something worth writing.” – Benjamin Franklin

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