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Shrugging Responsibility? Am I living up to my “journalist” title?

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Every now again I get this annoying, nagging feeling as a blogger and a little bit of guilt seeps in. Before I jump into what’s been so burdensome, let me give you a little background. 

I’m a news reporter, at heart. I love news! I first started writing for the local newspaper when I was just 16-years-old. Everything I did in college, everything I did early on in my career was geared towards fulfilling my lifelong dream and goal of being a reporter; whether on TV or in print. And yes, your girl not only hit, but smashed those goals!

I studied Journalism and Mass Communications at The University of The Bahamas (formerly The College of The Bahamas) and then went off to study Writing and Communications at The University of Tampa (go Spartans!) and wrote for the campus newspaper there. I’ve worked as news anchor for two of three TV stations here in The Bahamas, worked at all three mainstream newspaper outlets and built my initial brand as a reporter…the one always wearing high heels and red lipstick! lol! 🙂 

Hhahahaa! Covering the budget debate! 

In this capacity, I wrote about national issues and events that helped to shape the discourse of the country, I interviewed prime ministers and leaders, told the human interest stories of those who were hurting, those who were helping and even those who were being hailed as heroes. I loved working in news and being able to have a hand in these important topics and subjects that affected Bahamians everywhere. 

Honestly, being a reporter is where so many people know me from and was the platform I built on when I branched out and transitioned into a full-time blogger. 

Now as a blogger, I write about travel and beauty and lifestyle and career and sometimes…a cute polka dot dress I bought for $13. And it’s here, that the burden and nagging sensation kicks in! 

Many days I’m forced to question myself and ask;

Am I wasting my degree by not being more involved in the national discourse and using my platform and website to touch on those issues?

It’s so funny to even think about, because I first started my blog as a creative outlet and a place to take a mental break from the politics and the crime and the union uproars and press conferences that had become a part of my DNA. But over time what I thought was just a hobby became a love and then it became a passion and eventually my job. 

It was very intentional, when I first left the news business that I would leave behind everything that came with it and only focus on lifestyle side of life.

What new nail polishes are trending? How does one cope after quitting their job? What’s fun to do in Dubai? How to cope with grief during the holidays? 

These were the articles that I wanted to read, but couldn’t find online, so I wrote them myself. I knew that while so many people loved keeping up with the news, they also wanted to read about hair care and how to deal with running into bad customer service and how new brides really cope after the marriage and all of the other things they deal with and think about on the daily. They wanted someone to relate to, outside of the news. 

I wanted to give them a break from the news too and over the past four years, I used this blog to do just that! But now I feel guilty. I feel guilty when I see so much being said about government issues, labour unrest and even crime in my country, but I’m in the midst of scheduling a blog about my favorite fall lipsticks. Now, once you’re a journalist, you’re a journalist, darling and whether you choose to be an entertainment journalist or a political journalist, talent speaks for itself.

While I do know that these lifestyle articles and stories provide a healthy balance for readers, I’m just conflicted and wonder if this is all I should be doing. 

Should I voice my opinion on more national issues as they arise? Or should I keep doing what I’m doing and use my degree as I have been; as a creative and lifestyle outlet? What do you think? 

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2 Responses
  • Hadassah
    December 10, 2018

    For a very long time, I was in this same place Ianthia – until I finally got a release in my spirit that the reporting season was over and I’ll just continue on the Communications/PR track. Meantime, this why whatever position I hold from here on, writing has to be involved. Like I said when you interviewed me, “I’ll even write on my death bed.” In fact, your line, “…once you’re a journalist, you’re a journalist…” definitely stood out to me because it is so true. It is something nobody can ever take away from you. And just based on your writing style, I can tell that your personality shines through when you write. You write from the heart.

    But yeah, I’ve been to that point of wanting to return to mainstream journalism and sometimes wonder how far I would have been had I remained. One thing I do not miss though is working weekends, holidays, early mornings to anchor radio newscasts, late nights, about to get off and Fred Mitchell just arriving at the airport and calling a press conference, following politicians, going on the scenes of murders, accidents etc. On the other hand, it is an intriguing field and gives you a First Class seat as you end up writing history daily.

    I suppose you can ask yourself if you see yourself doing the things you currently do at the age of 50 perhaps? Do you think you would still enjoy writing about the latest lipstick, clothing and hottest places to stay in various countries? One thing is certain, you sure look to be enjoying every moment now. It really looks like loads of fun and you are FREE in terms of hours, what assignments you work on etc.!

    Well, seeing you might still want to be a part of those hard core national issues, I suggest you consider writing a column for one of the newspapers. Think about it and make a pitch. That is definitely a way to get your views on national issues out there to the masses, while doing what you love – writing. Also, you might wish to consider a radio show. Just some suggestions.

    In the end, do you! It is important to love what you do.

    • ianthia
      December 10, 2018

      I soooooo love this, Hadassah! Thank you! Like I said in the piece, when I first left I wanted NOTHING to do with news for a long time, but as of late I just started feeling guilty that I’m not adding to the discourse on national issues. I sometimes feel like people who know me from the news are looking an waiting for me to chime in, maybe it’s just me, but it feels like someone is looking over my shoulder. I absolutely love the kind of writing I’m doing now, it’s freeing and does touch on some hard topics at times. Maybe I’m just going through the process of coming to grips with the fact that the news ship has sailed.

      But you are so right about this;
      But yeah, I’ve been to that point of wanting to return to mainstream journalism and sometimes wonder how far I would have been had I remained. One thing I do not miss though is working weekends, holidays, early mornings to anchor radio newscasts, late nights, about to get off and Fred Mitchell just arriving at the airport and calling a press conference, following politicians, going on the scenes of murders, accidents etc. On the other hand, it is an intriguing field and gives you a First Class seat as you end up writing history daily.”

      I don’t miss those things at all!!!!
      Thanks so much for your input!