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February 2020 | Magazine Issue

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Rachell Stovall | The Value Of Journalism

rachel

What is value of journalism in the black community?

Writing is art. I know that we think of an artist who writes in terms of poetry or theater, but journalism is art too. And art moves us. For this reason, art is the partner to activism. Emotions are required to push change. Unfeeling people neither feel concern for themselves nor others. Words enable us to feel our emotions in their entirety, if we allow it. Good writing inspires us to lift up ourselves and others. A good reporter not only reports the news, they use what is happening around them to make the print acts as a mirror for the reader. And in a mirror, a community should be able to see themselves. We must read the news and see how we are relating, acting and reacting in a broad context. If what we see does not reflect us, or shames us, it is time to create change.

How do you see journalism changing/impacting society in the future?

I see journalism as a conduit for all to access to understand our world through a printed lens. Black journalists have more opportunities than ever before to write stories about us that defy stereotypes. They also have a chance to expose challenges and bring communities into processes that crush white supremacy when it is found. At last, we are becoming true contributors into writing our stories. Black journalists also have a political opportunity to write stories that embolden, empower and entertain our community. Up until this point our culture has been an afterthought in many of these settings. Black journalists locally and nationally can use statistics not to convince us that working is useless, but to show us how well we are progressing. I see many of us with platforms, blogs and other means of sharing information with wide circles of people unlimited by geographic location. Average citizens have far more influence through information to share about our community in exciting and uplifting new ways. Journalists are not the only ones with media power in 2018. We all have some of this power.

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