Thinking About Thoughts

With limited free time outside of the classroom, office or internship this summer (phew, it sounds like a lot when you put it all together), I have almost completely abandoned my Facebook news feed and my obsessive refreshing of my Twitter feed has turned into one or two scrolls throughout the day. My interest have turned somewhere else – Thought Catalog.

I came across the blog sometime during the fall semester, but when you’re reading textbooks and lecture notes for most of the day, reading anything longer than 140 characters is unappealing. However, I have found that this blog has somehow created the perfect ending to my (usually hectic) summer days. I come home, eat dinner, jump into bed, go to the site and open each article I want to read in a new tab until I get to the articles that I read the night before. Currently my browser has “What Happens When You First Move to New York“, “90s Songs That Are Perpetually Stuck in My Head” and “If Social Media Sites Were Boyfriends“, and six others open, each in their own tab and waiting to be read. I get wrapped up in reading each post and considering different perspectives on everything and anything – politics, romance, novels, pop culture, literally anything. That’s what makes this blog so appealing.

Most of what I read on the blog does not surprise me in the least. Yes, it gets me thinking, but rarely does it startle me in a way that I am thinking about it for more than a few minutes. But tonight, I was surprised for the first time by what I read.

In the “About” section of the blog, the owners of the blog list their ideals in a simple format to echo the simplicity in the blog design. As I read this list for the first time earlier this evening, I was taken by surprise by the tenth and final ideal:

In a small way, you’re supporting the future of journalism.

Maybe it’s  because I’m in the middle of a course on media ethics, or maybe it’s because I only have one year left as a journalism major at UNC, but this really struck me. The future of journalism? What does that mean? What does that mean for me?

The reason I got into journalism is the same reason I enjoy reading Thought Catalog – I love stories. I love to hear each person’s own story and I often think the way they see or experience something is way more fascinating than what they are seeing or experiencing. I think that’s why I didn’t like writing for a newspaper and “hard-hitting” news isn’t just for me. I don’t like demanding the facts, the details and the objective statements from someone who was there or knows what is going on. I want to know what it means and what they think about it and why they think about it that way – their story of what happened. Their thoughts.

It’s weird to think of a blog as the “future of journalism”. Yes, there will still be hard-hitting news and there are people whose passion is reporting those stories. But it’s interesting to see what people think is also becoming more important. Their opinions, subjectivity and emotions about what is going on in the world. Journalism is about communicating truth and that is their truth.

Just something to think about.

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