Growing together

By Matt Gatie

Flux is a capstone publication. It is honestly an honor to be placed among the ranks of some of the smartest, most articulate people I have ever had the pleasure to meet, let alone work with.

This year we took on the most pertinent theme we could, democracy. We pushed ourselves to represent a something so innately tied to our profession that often one cannot exist without the other. It was a huge undertaking but in this political climate I don’t think we could have chosen anything else.

As aspiring journalists we sometimes have grandiose ideas of changing the world. We imagine we fight the good fight for truth, for fairness, for a better society spurred by our prose. We hope to make an impact on the world playing our part in democracy.

Sometimes I don’t know if I subscribe to this. I feel indulgent. Have I created a phantom creed that idolizes the end goals without thinking about the in-between, the ethical choices, and the voices of the people we hope to inform. We certainly don’t have the trust of those same people. Has the perception of journalism changed because of our ambition? Maybe I am just young and idealistic in my pursuit.

I don’t know the answer. I won’t pretend to be able to understand the feelings of the electorate, or a pollster’s data on people’s trust in journalism. But I’m learning what it means to have ambition undercut by self-doubt and cynicism. Through Flux I’ve experienced sources letting me down. Community members have looked in disgust as I expressed to them my hopes for a career. I’ve sat with an empty in-box for days paralyzed with disappointment.

It’s difficult, but these experiences have made me realize I am finally beginning to pay my dues and gain the skills that will take me to that idealistic place. The very act of being ambitious and pushing myself to be part of a team I feel utterly unqualified for, has pushed me to be ok with the grandiose ideas of changing the world. As Todd would say, I’ve got to put in some reps, and then just maybe these grandiose ideas will no longer be ideas but reality. I am confident that the other FLUXers will get there, and maybe I will too.