As a veteran PR Major and Communication Studies Minor in the University of Oregon: School of Journalism and Communication, who has been through “INFOHELL” (twice) and taken all old jschool curriculum pre-reqs as well as upper division: communications, ethics, magazine, web video production (for KVAL News), advertising, and public relations courses, I must say that this article by D.C.’s Journalism Graduate Student Jonathan Bowers: Advertising, public relations need to leave the school of journalism and communication is not only insulting but also incredibly inaccurate.
An old friend of mine once gave me the best advice I’ve ever received in Journalism,
“Do what your heart tells you. Be an honest journalist no holds barred. Be a light in the shining darkness, exposing evil works of darkness in high places. That is the high calling of journalism.” -Thornton Massie Tice II
And I must say, in my darkest times these words always rang true. But not necessarily in the straight-laced news formats that Bowers is voicing as journalism.
You see, journalism isn’t just words or news. Journalism isn’t just photographs and moving pictures. It isn’t simple and to the point or even remotely bland. Journalism is creative. Full of stories that can touch a place of your heart you didn’t even know existed. Journalism is full of rich color and deep moving sorrow. Full of life and death and all the mess in between. Journalism is not just a way of communication, it is an open dialogue for every language possible. It absolutely is relations, unique and guided direction, and a light in the shining darkness that connects every human-being even when all hope seems to be lost.
So Mr. Bowers, don’t tell me that some of the most creative forms of communication: public relations and advertising, are not in fact journalism. Because both are encompassed by rich text, elaborate research, superb storytelling, critical thinking, gorgeous photographs, exceptional video, and most of all; the talented creatives that make it all possible.