Passion for journalism

By  Philip Marcoccia, The Catholic Register
  • November 9, 2008
Journalism is of great importance to the world, and for a student like me, it may be my future. Since Grade 11, I’ve known that journalism was the path I wanted to pursue as a career.

My passion for writing began in elementary school. Where others found it to be work, I always had a desire to write creative stories. But it wasn’t until high school that I finally set my mind on a writing career.
My father was a big inspiration because he always told me to go with what I liked to do. He told me journalism would suit me best because I was someone who enjoyed writing about anything. He also told me about my aunt earning a degree in journalism, and she also helped me out after hearing of my future plans. With my parents being very supportive, I looked into it and realized this is what I want to do.

Journalism opens the door to many opportunities in writing. So for my high school co-op, I requested a placement where I could learn about journalism. This led me to The Catholic Register. Here I get to learn all about constructing news articles and columns. The Register attracted me for the experience it could offer for my journey into the field of journalism; the bonus here for me was that it is a Catholic publication. Writing the material through a Catholic perspective was something I never thought about before, so I knew that I would learn many things.

I glanced through The Register and saw it was very similar to any other newspaper. Most content contains political and social issues but from a Catholic point of view. Where it differs from secular newspapers is that it contains news from the Catholic community in general, and that’s not something I have been familiar with.

I believe religious journalism is important because it gives its community a chance to spread news of what is needed in the community or what it may be struggling with. For example, leading up to the recent federal election, I found The Register contained a religious perspective on Canadian politics. The elections are always a serious time for people of any religion. Voting in a certain man or woman for prime minister can really change our communities, for better or worse. Some may benefit more, where others will suffer. Catholic newspapers will often discuss the issues believers have regarding the candidates when the candidates fail to discuss an issue that Catholics want to hear more about. Many Catholics want to see a leader who will oppose ongoing social problems like abortion as well as same-sex marriage.

Over the past year, I’ve learned just how important journalism is. The presentation of news is something we all need, whether it is directed to the broader public or just a certain community. It allows us to keep in touch with what is going on in the world, even if the majority of news reported is bad. We cannot remain ignorant for long.

After completing my semester and leaving this placement, I will bring with me the knowledge I have picked up from here and will use it as guidance for my journalistic future.

(Marcoccia, 18, is a Grade 12 student at St. Basil-The-Great College School in Toronto.)

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