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Journeying Through Winter's Reflection: A Journalist's Contemplation on Achievements and Ethics

A lone figure gazing out the window of a moving train, newspaper in lap, lost in thought.
Kaia Thonul, Monday, November 20, 2023, 15:12

As the train rattles on familiar tracks towards home, away from Oslo and the whirlwind of academia’s careful conflict, I find myself in a contemplative mood. Outside, the temperature drops to a chilly -1°C, minuscule snowflakes falling haphazardly against the train windows. The stark rawness of winter reflects perfectly the tearful mood that envelops me.

I've always believed that as people, we should celebrate our personal achievements no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. Today, I thought, was a day to celebrate, for I had taken a step further towards my dreams of becoming a journalist; navigating through the labyrinth of ethics, responsibility, and the power to influence. But a celebration quickly turned into introspection after reading a particular piece of news.

Celebrating personal achievements often acts as a mirror, reflecting the essence of our actions and decisions. In my case, it made me contemplate the very purpose of my chosen path and its more profound implications. I've always been taught that journalism’s luminary principles include the pursuit of truth, a commitment to fairness, and protecting the underdogs. But today, the news I encountered made me question everything.

Linking personal achievements with what I'd just read, I thought of those accolades earned, not by virtue, but with questionable ethical conduct. The merit of such achievements presents itself as a conundrum. As journalists, we wield a potent sword, with the power to influence, the ability to shape perceptions. But such power surely warrants immense responsibility?

In the chilling fold of such introspection, I'm left tearful, not quite by the biting cold sneaking into the confines of my train compartment. Rather, it is the frosty revelation of the very real potential for misuse of the power vested in me. It's realizing that a well-intentioned path might unwittingly contribute to an ecosystem teetering precariously on the edges of exploitation, simplification of grave offenses, and skewed representation.

A sense of achievement certainly nurtures our development, fosters hope, and fuels perseverance. But at what cost? Here, on a train veering through the wintry landscapes of Norway, I grapple with these concerns.

Today, I celebrate myself, the progress made, but I also build stronger consciousness, one with the capacity to question the very roots of my actions and choices. Personal achievement should not be ephemeral, rather, it should be a portrait of rights, responsibilities, and ethicality we paint, one stroke at a time. As I embark on this continuous journey of development, I'm reminded that integrity, ethics, and responsibility are not just words, but vital pillars holding high the sanctity of my dreams.

There is indeed a fine line between celebration and contemplation. My reflections today teetered precariously on this edge. Today wasn't as much about celebration but a realization. Here's to the personal celebrations that validate our growth, and may the purity of our intentions continue to guide our way forward, even amidst the harshest of winters. As I peer out into the winter gloom, the frost catching on the corners of the window, I understand that today was an achievement in its own right - a tearful realization, the reinforcement of an ethos.

Tags: journalism ethics self-reflection

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