In my current affairs lecture this morning our lecturer started with his usual routine of putting up an overhead detailing the life of some famous and dead media academic. Today I didn’t spend too long in the class. This is meant to be a current affairs diary but lately all I have been doing is writing about media theorists that are no longer alive.
In the DCU prospectus it describes the aim of the module is “To deepen and evaluate student’s knowledge of current affairs in a number of key areas other than politics and law, e.g. the economy, the environment, social inclusion, international affairs, sport, science and technology, gender issues and racism. To give students knowledge of basic journalism writing techniques used in writing about current Affairs.”
This is probably one of the modules I most looked forward to. I have had a thirst for current affairs as long as I can remember, and even before I was 10 years old I was reading the newspaper. I keenly tuned into the 6 o clock news with my grandparents while eating my dinner from a young age. I was 6 when the Berlin Wall fell, I remember watching Nelson Mandela been freed from prison and Mary Robinson been sworn in as Irelands first female President.
I look back over my lecture notes and my learning diary and there is nothing current. I’m disappointed by the fact that it wasn’t “exactly as it says on the tin”. This morning when I was presented with an overhead which was a biography of some dead guy my feelings boiled over. I decided to raise my frustrations with our lecturer Mr Eddie Holt.
I asked what have all these dead guys he has been talking about for the last few weeks got to do with current affairs. He said they were media theorists and that their work helps to make better sense of the world today. That would be almost understandable except for the fact that he never offers any context, and that was the next point I raised.
The lecturer started to get flustered, perhaps it would have been wiser to speak to him in his office instead of undermining his authority, but then again he does a good job of that himself by constantly saying, “I don’t know”.
I do admit I can over step the mark at times, my brain often fails to register social rules which are adhered to. I then informed my lecturer that the lecture was boring, a waste of time and that I only attended because I was required to sign my name to earn marks. He responded by saying I could leave if I want which I promptly did.
When I left I hear he asked the class if anyone agreed with me and nobody said a word. Silence says enough I think. Speaking to people later on they all said that they agreed with me. People from the class that I didn’t know who saw me round campus approached me to say they agreed.
So where does one go from here? Well I have to attend class next week to give a presentation and I will probably arrange a meeting with the lecturer. What I have learned from today however is that I can be a good journalist, better than others taking this module. The lecturer has said so to me in the past.
Journalism is about speaking your mind and standing up for what you believe in, speaking out against injustices and uncovering problems in society without fear of reprisal for the good of the public. I think, In a small way, I did that today.