Wednesday, May 18, 2011

New Global Journalism - The personal philosophy of You

I should not be writing this. In the time it takes to post this, I could have completed marking more papers.

But I'm writing - partly out of catharsis, partly because the flow of marking has been interrupted by what I have read.

We seek fame and fortune for a host of reasons. We live in a fame fraternity now. If you have a blog the corollary of that is courting fame.

Yet fame is tempered by vacuity. We know this from one of the world's most expressive perti-dish television franchised experiments in Big Brother. Attention is ordained for as long as a person is willing to give something; sometimes weirdly behavioural.

But then there's a different sort of fame - more from respect, offerings of wisdom, personal struggles overcoming difficulties of one sort or another.  It's the stuff of biographies, or strong characters in a film overcoming adversity. The fictional but normalised Hollywood formula.

The blog, by default became the repository for expressing an internalisation of thought, aside from other things. The camera in its most fertile years became the object to think with. See Truffaut, Godard Chabrol. The cumulative power of both is a study which is rich in reflection and meaning.

Hollow fame is debunked by personal content - having something to say. If you have nothing to say, say nothing. As a blogger or journalist you consign yourself to the foibles of the Big Brother - fame, but momentarily.

None more so than now, I feel we are wrapped in an era of personal philosophies. I come to this position from seeing student work over the years. Personal philosophy is not grandiose, neither is it unifocal.  It is the result of thinking, not a release from a sudden occurance. Not superficially, but thought of a kind that questions the very tenants that we so blithely believe are fact.

It comes from being outside of your comfort, though yes there are philosophies that are dogma, recycled through our own narrow beliefs. They have very little purpose for the global journalist of the future.

The personal philosophy that becomes well groomed comes from diversity of thought, contextualisation of ideas and a historicity of meaning. Being on an International course can do that. You may not agree with everyone, but you're exposed to different ideas, which leave a nascent footprint.

And then when your write about these, putting yourself within the circle, exposing your own shortcomings and illustrating how you resolved these, the result is a richly digestible insight - your personal philosophy.

It's what makes us grow and should be encouarged.