“The problem with journalists is that they don’t know what they don’t know.” -Bob Woodward


JUST a few weeks back my thesis mates took the UP Law Aptitude Exam with no hopes of passing. They took the exam just for the sake of taking it, to experience the thrill of a law aptitude exam.

True enough, they found the test extremely difficult to the point that it made them feel stupid. For the first time they encountered words that they never knew existed and felt frustrated because of their failure to comprehend and solve a simple algebra problem.

But in spite of it all, I still admire them. Entering law school is also one of my options once I graduate, but I am not inclined to pursue it since I believe I am not determined enough. Besides law school is not for the undecided or the half-hearted.

Then again, looking at it closely, I guess taking that risk in my life wouldn’t be so bad. Now that I think about it, taking up law could even turn to my favor since I’d have the edge of acquiring deeper knowledge of the law plus something extra and prestigious will be attached to my name aside from the word “reporter.”

I also came to realize that knowledge of laws may be essential to writing an in-depth report. My personal experience here in the Varsitarian tells knowledge of the law and juridprudence is a good grounding for a budding investigative journalist like me. Definitely it would facilitate my undergraduate thesis on libel.

But I don’t want to be a lawyer. I want to be a journalist.

Unsafe campus?

After all, there’s is a big discrepancy between the law in letter and the law in action. For example, law enforcers know the law but have a hard time implementing it. Some of them even break it.

As an aspiring journalist, I tend to be a generalist, so I feel the need to know a little of everything without developing expertise in any. I am compelled to study anything under the sun and be a voracious reader on various fields so as to to provide an accurate account of events and issues in my writings. I feel I need to be authoritative in my reports since the information and analysis I provide may become the basis of public opinion.

I need not become a lawyer to specialize on laws, nor a doctor to specialize on medicine. As a media practitioner, I should simply gather sufficient and accurate information and make objective analyses of issues. That’s my duty and responsibility as a journalist.


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