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  • Writer's pictureJanae McKenzie

The public image of a journalist

The social media review scared me from the moment it was assigned. I’m a fairly image-conscious individual - to the point where I try to separate the personal and the professional as much as possible. After Stephi’s review, it occurred to me that my private, personal Instagram account, in its current state, could be confused for my professional account by Instagram name alone. I could be doing a better job of trying to separate the two parts of my life. But I don’t know if the separation is even the best move.

I find myself struggling with how to seem like a person and not a robot with my work. I like to think I have personality - private posts have told me so. The journalists in my chosen emphasis area (arts, culture and entertainment) tend to have plenty of personality. Their tweets and posts genuinely inspire me and make me laugh. Those people by consequence are more relatable. I wish I could emulate their presence.

I’m held back by the fear of seeming “opinionated”. I imagine this fear is a consequence of some of my training at the J-School. At this point, I can see the words “conflict of interest” on the backs of my eyelids when I blink. I worry that if I’m not seen as a completely objective person with little to no opinions, I will be seen as unable to do my job correctly. But then again, if I am viewed as human, am I not more likely to be trusted by my audience. How human do I get to be?

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