From the Desk
The media seems to have a pretty bad rap these days.
People across the nation love to criticize journalists, including writers and radio and television broadcasters, for not giving the whole story, being too biased or not reporting on important ideas. The general public also loves to say journalists are nothing more than bearers of bad news. Many people say that crime, war and death are the topics of choice for journalists, who are really just about bumming people out all over the world.
As a journalist, it is really discouraging to hear all the criticism at times. While much of the talk is true, as members of the media really do make mistakes or are too biased and the news is often fraught with sadness, there are still so many examples of good journalists who go against the stereotypes the majority of the world holds.
One of these journalists is Todd Starnes, a Fox News radio contributor and columnist, who visited Liberty University last week.
During his visit to Lynchburg, Starnes left an impact on more than just a few people. Following his Convocation address Wednesday, thousands of students, faculty and staff were left inspired, as evidenced by a standing ovation and a large crowd eager to meet him after his talk. Starnes used examples of his stories about religious liberty in America, or a lack thereof, in his call for the Liberty community to rise up against Christian discrimination in the United States.
In his Convocation address, it was clear that Starnes is using his work as a journalist for good. He is a great example of a Christian in the media, as he uses his reporting to point out the injustices that occur across America every day.
Because I desire to one day enter the workforce as a journalist, I was inspired by Starnes’ message to use my God-given gifts as a voice for Christ in the media. Starnes showed that journalism does not just have to be about negative topics, but can actually make a huge difference if done correctly.
Starnes’ encouragement was not limited to his Wednesday Convocation speech, however. After the Liberty Champion staff and I had dinner with Starnes Tuesday evening, I was encouraged to see that it is still possible to be joyful in the midst of dealing with tough sources and reporting on stories that are frustrating.
Additionally, on Wednesday, Starnes gave me, along with several fellow journalism students, great advice during his question-and-answer session later in the day. Lessons about the importance of accuracy, fairness and networking were just a few of the ideas I took away from the meeting. Starnes also emphasized the significance of good writing in all aspects of the media. As Starnes talked about his writing, I learned the effect of digging for stories that many people may not hear about in regular news.
The couple of days with Starnes proved to be one of my valuable experiences as a journalism student at Liberty. I am so grateful that Liberty invited Starnes to speak in Convocation and that he took the time to talk with the Champion staff and journalism students here. I walked away encouraged for my future and with lots of valuable information to put into practice.
BROWN is the editor-in-chief