A Career Lesson Learned from ‘The Onion’

A Career Lesson Learned from ‘The Onion’

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

From as early as I can remember, I was always curious about “the news” reported in America. What made a situation deemed newsworthy, what parts to report on and what parts are the media outlets and news sources omitting intentionally? Those questions always stuck with me.

With the recent shootings in Georgia and Colorado causing a frenzy of rage in the nation, the same curiosity occurred to me, again. A few days after the incidents, I noticed barely a handful of publications that reported on the truth of the heartbreaking ordeals, and the series of events that took place after. 

Let’s be honest. Most publications were sugarcoating these devastating tragedies. People of color all have one common oppressor, which is people of white privileged descent. 

The police system allowed a man who killed eight people, a mass murder, sympathy because he was simply having a bad day. And as a student journalist, I rarely saw people report the truth behind these small, yet massive words, calmy, yet confidently spoken by a police officer. 

One of the publications that stood out to me the most was The Onion, an online newspaper known for its satire, but was bluntly speaking the truth about these situations. One headline “Sympathetic Police Know What It’s Like To Have A Bad Day And Kill 8 People” caught the attention of not only me, but countless others on Twitter.

As a young student journalist, it’s undoubtedly tragic to see that the workforce I aspire to advance in after I graduate college next year isn’t reporting on the underlying facts and truths that journalism is all about. Yet, instead, most are being subliminally biased due to the source of information — the police.

My normality of having a “bad day” is sleeping in, binge-watching a new show, hanging out with those who make me happy or anything else that would bring me to peace. However, I live in an unimaginable world that normalizes and humanizes murder as having a bad day.

Having a bad day should not equate to the killings of eight people in different locations targeting innocent civilians that were merely trying to make a living for themselves and even their families. Same with the most recent mass shooting in Colorado.

And that’s what I, along with many others, should’ve seen reported by numerous outlets, not just a handful. It’s scary to witness that the passion I had since I was a little girl isn’t doing what I am currently studying and practicing to wholeheartedly do once I leave my alma mater. It is vital for me as a journalist to have role models to fantasize about becoming when I enter the world of journalism, but right now, it’s hard to find them in the places I aspire to work. 

The people who these survivors, families and many others across the nation are depending on to report the hardcore truth about these tragic incidents are journalists. However, publications and other news outlets are making it hard for me and my peers to continue this route when people don’t feel represented or told the ultimate facts.