After more than two months of working in Extension 9, working with the Community Police Forum, I still feel that we took more from this community than we could give. In the end, we wrote stories, filmed stories and took photographs that will for the most part remain in our files gathering dust as we pat ourselves on the back for a job well done.
Truth be told, we really haven't done any good by these people. We didn't get the answers that these people wanted or deserved, we didn't meet our end of the bargin which was more than just reproducing their stories but to also get those in power to answer for their failings, because after all is that not the fundamental role of a good journalist?
I still feel like we didn't do anything beyond just completing another 'journ' assignment and I always knew that this was the conclusion that I was going to reach in the end. I am over this process and I never again want to feel like I'm using people for an assignment.
No matter how we continue to justify this process, we stirred up the hornets nest, gave people hope no matter how unintentional, that somehow someone out there, someone of some relevance, with some authority, would listen to their stories and would pay attention but that is not going to happen, not today, not tomorrow and not next year when the next group of 'journ' students do the exact same thing.
We need to stop using real people, with real problems as our playground for 'good journalism'.
I am glad that this is over but I wish it had never happened.
But what does it matter what I think right, because next year, someone will be forced to do the same thing all over again all in the pursuit of good grades....