In 1989, a number of events took the world by storm. The fall of the Berlin Wall, the rise of the Bush family, the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Exxon Valdez oil disaster.
And then there was me, an insignificant individual, brought into the world without having a say in this undemocratic biological process. One cannot vote in the womb, it seems.
Now, I am in no way trying to compare my birth with the aforementioned transformative events. I am a simple nobody, though, a very curious one.
But it’s interesting how in many ways, these significant bits of modern history are still shaping our world today, and yet for those of us born after, we can only understand them through the eyes of others.
Which brings me to the question, who exactly are the people who decide how we remember these events?
Well, everyone who bears witness, and traditionally, that meant journalists.
It still means journalists, but journalism has changed.
The same way I was born during a time of dramatic political and ideological transformation, I entered journalism as it faced its own kind of crisis, but one involving the tearing down of technological barriers.
No longer were traditional (and tangible) news publications and cable the only sources and authorities of information, but anyone with access to the Internet could now bear witness to history. Technology had suddenly democratized the dissemination of knowledge, giving us a better understanding of our world today, directly from those impacted.
We’re still undergoing that revolution, and as traditional journalism continues to adapt, some institutions a lot better than others, fresh faces have popped into the scene and embraced these changes from the get-go.
Given this new landscape, the question that intrigues me the most is, how do we make sense of what now seems like a relentless stream and overabundance of information?
How do you get people to pay attention, to care and to take action?
As a person who is well versed in how this generation consumes and shares information and who upholds the traditional principles of journalism, it is my responsibility both to draw attention to the nuggets of news that don’t make it to the mainstream while helping to contextualize the significance of those events that everyone is talking about, but doing so in a way that resonates with people today. And that keeps changing.
So it’s my mission to make sure that our day-to-day history is told accurately and powerfully, so future generations can grasp its importance even if they weren’t alive to see it unfold.