Day One: Speak!
“Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.”– Henry Anatole Grunwald I found the above paragraph while researching quotes on journalism to begin this post. It is an extremely powerful, and I hope, accurate testimony to the ability of the media to ‘speak, and speak immediately’ – not to make mere noise; but to carry, through the medium of words, music, etc. meaning – to reach, inspire and influence. My first day at SYN has taught me so much already about the passion which backs the ‘noise’ of journalism – about the committment which results in ingenious ideas and incredible shows. My day began with Kristina running me through the media laws which SYN is expected to abide by. Terms such as ‘contempt of court’, ‘defamation’, ‘codes of practice’ floated around the training studio as Kristina gave me an efficient and thorough description of the rules we must keep in mind while doing media work of any kind. For me, these laws and considerations stressed the power of the media and the necessity to exercise its influence in a positive and edifiying manner. Then I was assigned to wrap CDs into packages to give away – for someone who isn’t exactly adept at wrapping, it was an initially challenging but for me, exciting task as I set myself minor goals to wrap a certain number in a certain amount of time. Now I like to think that I’ve ‘conquered’ those CDs to some extent! The highlight of my day, however, was visiting the radio studios and observing the radio show “Objection” on air. Today one of the hosts was absent so only one person, Henry, ran the show. He gave me an insight into his experiences in hosting “Objection” – his enthusiasm, passion, and above all his courage in committing to the confronting but rewarding experience of talking to an unseen audience, truly impressed me!! Finally, he even gave me the opportunity to go on air and informally co-host. It was a fascinating, though at first a little frightening, experience for me – but Henry ran me through the routine of switching from music to conversation, back to music until I felt familiar and comfortable with the procedures. The on-air conversations we had were also highly enjoyable and all carried out in a relaxing and casual setting – Henry chose a list of topics to discuss beforehand and gave me tips about how to engage an audience by using diverse ideas, talking on a broad range of topics, and thinking objectively and ‘on your feet’. Overall it was a day of unforgettable experiences – in which I learned about the power of communication in journalism and the importance of speaking out in the right way, at the right time, enthusiastically, creatively, and passionately.