Journalism Reflection 3:How to be a Great Journalist?

By rights, this week seems to be my lucky week. After nearly two months’ hard work and four terrible or good packages, I am eventually cleared. During the past few weeks, intensive works, limited time and huge pressure made my really stressed out. And now, this week, I can eventually find temporary respite from interviewing, shooting and editing, and begin to prepare for the series of tests in KOMU.

However, the surprise of being cleared just bring me the relief and pleasure just for a while, and then, a serious question immediately occurred to me and haunted me during these days.

How to be a great journalist?

I’m not sure that in other people’s eyes, if it is weird or too ambitious to discuss this question now. I mean, I’m a student who just starts the “journalism career” since last year—with little journalistic background, lacking real-time experiences, and still learning the basic skills and techniques of being a professional journalist. I know clearly that at present, my essential task is to sharpen my professional skills, strengthen my ability to storytelling and improve my comprehensive qualities to be a journalist. But, I cannot stop thinking about that question: how to be a great journalist?

I’m pretty sure that our J-school and our education here is very prestigious and professional. I also believe that after getting through all of these tough but practical trainings here, I can be a good journalist in the future. Nevertheless, I have little confidence in myself to becoming a great journalist.

In our daily work, we are taught to be good at shooting, editing and storytelling; we are given a lot of opportunities to practice what we have learned. It is true that laying a solid foundation will be greatly helpful in our future career, but sometimes I was confused about that, are we pay too much attention to specific techniques but ignore the big picture of the people, society and even journalism.

Being a journalist is my dream since I was a little girl. With my study going into deep, I have an increasingly awareness that being a journalist is what I really want to do. To me, being a good journalist is fine, but I hope that I can achieve my goal of becoming a great journalist. As far as I am concerned, to be a great journalist, the most important thing is passion and enthusiasm. Only with a strong love for this job, can people try their best and work hard to learn, to practice and to devote into journalism. And then, a comprehensive knowledge system with critical thinking is necessary. I always think that compared with technical skills, these are the real core quality of a great journalist. Also, we need a deep understanding to the people and society, as well as a great vision. People are the subject and the key element of journalism. We should not only focus on their small stories, more importantly, great journalists will not stay on the surface, but dig into their small stories. Without a better understanding of them, it seems to be an unrealistic goal.

I find some materials that might be able to answer part of this question. Just “part of”, but it is still useful to some extent.

Insight Into an Outstanding Journalist

The Social Skills of Great Journalists

Five Great Journalists Portfolio and CV Websites

Here is the scripts.

Actually, I don’t think I find a complete and a good answer for this question right now, and I will definitely keep thinking about it.

Something I’m Passionate About…3: Travel

To me, there is always a strong allure in visiting new places, seeing unfamiliar things, encountering unpredictable situations, communicating with different people, and learning fresh knowledge. Then, travel became the best choice that can meet all of these needs and expectations.

Just like many people, I enjoy travelling. I love travelling. I’m a travel-addict.

During the past 22 years, I lived in Beijing, the capital city of China. Because of my love for travelling, I’ve also been to many places in China, such as Hong Kong, Shanghai, Xiamen, Qingdao, Wuhan, Yichang, Hohhot, Harbin, Jinan and so forth. To some extent, travelling is sort of my lifestyle. It not only enables me to have a better understanding of the people and society, but also provides me with a wider outlook.

China is a huge country with a long history. All together there are 34 province-level administrative units. Every province has its own features, while every city, no matter metropolitan or small town, has its own styles. Travelling in China is really wonderful. From desert to ocean, from forests to mountains, from historical sites to modern cities, you will have a great view of different types of natural sceneries as well as cultural landscape in one country. I always try to take every opportunity to travel around China. The more places I visit, the more fun and beauty I find.

Among all of these cities I once visited, my favorite city is Xiamen. Xiamen is a beautiful coastal city in the southeast of China. It is acknowledged as China’s 2nd most suitable city for living. I fell in love with this beautiful city at the first sight!


Gulangyu Island is the biggest specialty in Xiamen. After British victory in the First Opium War, Xiamen became one of the five “treaty ports” established by the Treaty of Nanjing in 1842. And Gulangyu Island was designated as a secure haven for foreign settlement in 1903. Then more and more Europeans, Japanese and wealthy overseas Chinese came to the tiny island and built lavish mansions, consulates and churches there.

Now, Gulangyu Island has become an extremely popular place among Chinese tourists with its wonderful scenery, beautiful ex-colonial buildings, a variety of special shops and delicious snacks.

Actually, I have just gone to Xiamen last year before I came to the U.S. But I’d love to visit there again!

This summer, after finishing the first session of summer course, I will continue my travelling. This time, I plan to go to Hangzhou and Suzhou—both are renowned cities that famous for great natural sceneries in eastern China. An old Chinese saying declares, “There is heaven above, Suzhou and Hangzhou below.”

When you travel to Hangzhou, West Lake should be your first place to go. Ripping water, misty mountains, and luxuriant vegetation that is dotted with myriad of halls, towers, pavilions, temples, and bridges—West Lake is the paradise for tourists. Great poets in ancient China always compared the West Lake to the most beautiful woman. How beautiful it is!

Suzhou is famous for its great classical gardens.

I really look forward to the coming trip!

Finally, I want to show a place I always dreamed of: Tibet. Several years ago, when I was reading a book about travelling, I was shocked by those amazing pictures of Tibet. Since then, I dreamed of one day travelling around this mysterious land.

I really hope that one day I can make my dream come true.

Something I’m Passionate About…2: Rabbits

Since I was a little girl, I’ve been nourishing the hope of keeping a pet. But my mom was afraid of hairy animals, so she didn’t allow me to have one at home. Two small tortoises and several fish, that’s all my childhood memories of pets. Although I enjoyed feeding them and watching them, I also felt that they are too silent to be pets.

Actually, my favorite animal is rabbits. I’m really passionate about them. I like collecting pictures or toys of various rabbits, I like playing with them, and I really hope I can raise one in the future.

Among all kinds of rabbits, I love the Holland Lop Rabbits most. Originated in the Netherlands, Holland Lop Rabbits are known for their floppy ears, cute faces, compact body, fuzzy fur, sweet temperament and non-aggressive behavior. My best friend Helen owns a white one, and during my time spent with her, I have learned pretty much new things about this kind of cute bunnies.

Not as active as dogs or cats, rabbits, especially the Holland Lop bunnies are a little bit quiet. But it does not mean that they are silent, lazy and boring. In fact, they are really interactive and playful. You can buy them some toys, or just give them a box or something in the house, then you will find them enjoy themselves.

Before this, I thought all the bunnies eat grass and carrots, just like those cartoon rabbits in animations. But actually, Helen often feed her Holland Lop pellets and timothy hay. Of course, vegetables are also necessary. Some people say Holland Lops cannot eat lettuce, but Helen’s bunny can eat a little. We don’t know why, and it seems quite weired… Besides, feeding Holland Lops is interesting since the way they eat looks really funny and cute; however, it is worth noting that people should not over feed them. Due to their small size, obesity is a serious problem that may bring them a lot of troubles in health.

      In short, Holland Lop Rabbits are adorable and naturally friendly. I believe they can be a good pet and also a good friend with people.

Journalism Reflection 2: Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times

As the title states, this is a documentary about The New York Times and its struggles and challenges in this digital age. The New York Times is one of the most prestigious newspapers all around the world. But when more and more US newspapers are going bankrupt, and social media is exponentially rising, the development of this old and venerable newspaper seems to be a problem.

A journalism student at Columbia University recommended this documentary to me. To be honest, I think it is not as interesting as I expected (lacking strong narrative and cohesive plots), but it still throws out many questions worth thinking.

From Wiki-Leaks to the coverage of Iraq war, the film touches on a variety of issues, but more importantly, it looks into a larger issue of journalism today. With the Internet surpassing print industry as our main news source, how do newspapers survive? 

In this film, a young journalist Brian Stelter makes a big impression on me. As a new media journalist who starts his career from a blog, he always has at least two computers open when he was working. Checking Twitter all the times and writing articles on blog, that’s the journalist of the present and future. Actually, I’m not a social media geek as many people think that a journalist should be. And I always wonder that if journalists like Brian Stelter are the real elites in the future world of journalism. They are able to capture the newest messages, broadcast information anywhere and anytime. The Internet makes them more comprehensive and competitive.

Admittedly, the Internet, especially social media totally changes the pace of journalism. Just as Stelter says: “I’ll hear my colleagues talking about a story at noon, [but] I read it on Twitter at midnight. And I’m thinking to myself, ‘Why is that allowed?’ Why are we not on top of the news? It’s 2010.” However, whether social media is a solid news source or not? This is an impetuous era. The Internet offers people more reasons to be restless. I’m not saying the Internet cannot be regarded as an active part in the journalism world, but the characteristics of such new source determines that the Internet or the social media cannot replace the traditional news media in a short time.

One of the most interesting parts of the film involves David Carr’s investigative report on heinous executive practices at the Tribune Co. As a man who has overcome drug abuse, imprisonment and poverty, Carr plays a role that reaffirm the importance of good reporting and real journalism in this world. Actually, to some extent, Carr and Stelter seem to be the representatives of traditional journalism and new media.

From my perspective, I believe traditional newspapers still have many years of life. They will persist, adapt to the new environment, survive and thrive. Maybe one day in the future, newspapers do not have any paper versions, but they will not die. Although the forms they exist may change, they will keep playing the role they play in nowadays’ journalism. Personally speaking, things like Wiki-Leaks provide journalism with more possibilities, which will be beneficial to the people and society. However, being a two-edged sword, such new possibilities also need the cooperation of traditional professional journalism.

Although this film mainly focuses on the dilemma of print industry, it also reminds me of the fate of TV. Because of the Internet, because of various websites like YouTube, the old square box in the corner of room may soon be dead. However, this does not necessarily mean that TV has already lost its historic role of keeping people informed about what is happening in the world. Until now, most so-called new media are largely based on the traditional journalism. It is true that the merger of news media and convergence reporting are the inexorable trends in the future, but newspaper, TV as well as other traditional media will adapt to the new trend and make their new and great contribution.

Official Movie Site: <Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times>

Official Trailer:

Something I’m Passionate About…1: Cartoon

Actually, I’m not sure if it is appropriate to post such a childish article on this blog…

I know I’m already a graduate student and my major is Journalism rather than something like Preschool Education.  I should be thoughtful and professional. But, the first idea that occurred to me when I saw the topic of this part is CARTOON.

Yes! As a pink girl who loves all kinds of cute things, I love cartoon.

My favorite cartoon character is Hello Kitty. In a sense, it seems to be a brand rather than a cartoon character. I have no idea about why I like it; maybe the only reason is the little cat is so lovely and cute. When I was shopping even in Wal-Mart, I cannot withdraw my eyes from those things with Hello Kitty: candies, clothes, necklaces and so forth. Sometimes I really wish I’m still a young girl so I can fit myself in those children’s clothing. Just like Sheldon said in The Big Bang Theory: “Men love Bluetooth! Everything is better with Bluetooth!” For me, “Girls love Hello Kitty! Everything is better with Hello Kitty!” ^_^

In fact, cartoon’s great appeal to me is far more than cute dolls or pretty clothing. Various cartoon characters and stories make people feel happy and relax, and more importantly, they also bring people warmth, courage, inspiration and motivation.

Here is one of my favorite cartoon movies: Partly Cloudy(2009) Oscar Best Short Animated Film

Even if the grey cloud (Gus) never make the same cute creatures with other clouds, even if his stork (Peck) should suffer all sorts of trouble because of him, the stork will never abandon him.

It’s about love. It’s about loyality and courage. It’s about friendship.



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