Finding My Voice as a Journalist and an Advocate

 

By: Alejandra Zimmermann, Miami Dade College

As a 20-year-old sophomore and as a journalism major, I know journalists are expected to be as out there as possible, asking the most intelligent questions and finding stories that can capture the minds of millions. Coming to The Washington Center, I knew I wasn’t going to come close to reaching those expectations.

But one thing is for sure: I am engaging in a conversation I would have never found myself doing back home at Miami Dade College.

Miami Dade College is the most diverse college in the nation; and not to brag, but I am extremely proud to represent my college.

My utmost concern at this seminar is diversity in politics as a new president and Congress begin their work. Like I mentioned before, I am finding myself engaging in conversations. This has surprised me because I didn’t know I had so much passion for the topics being presented TWC’s Inauguration ‘17 seminar and so deep an opinion on the issues.

One of my highlights was with filmmaker Julie Winokur and her most recent documentary “Bring It To The Table”. To see the clash of ideologies in our democracy, but also listening to the other side, made me want to challenge my own inability to understand people who don’t share my political opinions. This is also a valuable lesson for the journalist in me.

I have very little experience in anything having to do with politics, but TWC enables me to trickle down what I do know and apply it to the issues that matter the most.

In my hands, I have the opportunity to go back to my college and educate my peers; but I also have the Internet and most importantly my voice to start pushing the conversations many of our own politicians don’t want to hear. To take my power even further, I can question the lack of diversity within other colleges.

Going to the real world of journalism, I need to be ready to question and continuously ask the question “why.” To approach that stage where I feel more comfortable pursuing such tough issues will pay off by the end of this program.

The one thing I know this seminar is doing is further educating me on the topics that our president-elect has seemed so dysfunctional about. There is talk about the media being evil and only containing ‘fake news.’ This is my chance to prove that stigma wrong and take back the important notion of storytelling. As TWC continues to present the most engaging and academically invested speakers, I am building the foundation I need as I move forward with my career.

Civil discourse can only come about if we begin to listen (thank you Julie Winokur for this insightful ideology). I am going to challenge Miami Dade College to take a step out of our diversity bubble and look at the world we are truly surrounded by. MDC, let’s keep our credentials and take the conversation forward.

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