This semester we looked at different journalists, with the aim to write a 2,000 word comparison essay on two different journalists of our choice.
During lessons we were shown different journalists from the past and the present, and had group discussions about their methods and our opinions on their work. I really enjoyed this, as before beginning this course I had little knowledge on other journalists outside of my interest zone. It gave me a chance to see how different professionals can be, and that although they are all successful they all have different writing styles. I have especially enjoyed the session we spent looking at John Pilger.
During this session we watched a video made by Pilger, showing what life is really like in countries that are experiencing conflict. He made me aware of different journalists that work in these environments, ones that are embedded with the army, and independent journalists. The embedded journalists rarely show what life is really like for people living in warzones, whilst the independent journalists really get to know the residents of these towns. They show exactly how it is and the hardships they face. It gave me a sense of how different journalists can be.
We were also given work to complete at home. This included comparison essays and researching specific journalists. One piece of work that I enjoyed was comparing two different photojournalists. I decided on Andrea Bruce and Patrick Brown, comparing the style of their photos, as well as their ethics and the places that they travelled to.
I also really liked researching a war journalist, for which I chose Clare Hollingworth. Considering I had never heard of her before, I was astonished at how much she had accomplished, and the fact that she is still alive at the age of 103, living in Hong Kong. She was the first person to report the start of the Second World War, and spent her whole life reporting in different countries. As I liked researching her, I decided I would write about her in my comparison essay.
For my essay I also decided to write about Christiane Amanpour. I decided on this after researching female War Correspondents on the internet, and finding her on the top of many influential journalist lists. I decided that I wanted to compare to female War Correspondents because not a lot are well known, although a lot have risked their lives in order to inform the public. After comparing both, I found a lot of differences between her and Clare Hollingworth in different aspects of their personal lives and careers.
Although I find this an interesting subject to write about, I found the essay rather hard, especially when writing about why they made their choices. However, after some initial feedback I managed to finish my essay to a standard I am happy with.
Overall I have really enjoyed this semester of CATS. I feel that I am now more knowledgeable about different journalists in different areas, and I now know more about some well known journalists.