Student Perspective: Telling the Untold Stories

Dec 7, 2009  •  Post A Comment

By Armand Emamdjomeh

When I came to journalism school, it was because, inspired by my experience in international disaster relief and development, I wanted to use storytelling to bring awareness of overlooked problems domestically and internationally.

All of that is still true. But it’s also a heck of an exciting time to be in journalism school.

Journalism schools are in complete upheaval. Curriculums are changing by the year, and the same arguments that are being fought out in newsrooms between the print side and the Web-savvy multimedia gurus are being fought out in academia. Hanging over it all is the knowledge that if we don’t figure this problem out, we’re all out of luck.

Right now, all the old barriers are down, and to survive, students and professionals have to master all aspects of storytelling — photography, print, video, even Web production and graphics work. Even if you want to work with only one medium, having exposure and experience with multiple media develops the way you look at storytelling.

Meanwhile, new media ventures are sprouting up around the country, bringing new ideas, perspectives and, yes, funding to the table.

It’s not easy. Learning an array of tools is far more difficult than learning just one, and I’m as worried about finding a job as anyone. But opportunities still exist for those with the right skills, and as old avenues close, new ones are opening up.

It’s scary, but exciting.

Since coming to journalism school, I’m even more convinced that this career is for me. The goals are still the same — to serve the underserved; to find and tell the stories that aren’t being told. But the means are much, much different, and where exactly it’s going no one knows.

But that also means anything is possible.

Armand Emamdjomeh is a second-year student studying photojournalism and new media at the University of California at Berkeley.


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