A reporter's view

The media landscape today is awash in imagery. Whether it's fictional or fact-based, on YouTube, a television drama or a news program, it all has one thing in common. If the story is a natural disaster, a depiction of a dysfunctional family, or a political scandal, all of it is presenting mental images of who a person is. As one takes the images in, they can become a sort of perpetual proving ground for our concept of ourselves, our sense of identity. Every story becomes an opportunity to decide, "Is that how I see myself and others?"

As a reporter, I've made a practice of reminding myself that behind many of these stories is a storyteller, with a conscious desire to persuade. When my now 19and 22-year-old children were young, I often reminded them that the images they were watching in everything from a commercial to an online video were somebody's creation. And therefore, they should look for and question underlying assumptions. (I suppose it's a good sign that if I try to do this now, they simply raise an eyebrow, as if to say, "Mom, do you really think we don't know that already?")

When shocking or violent news breaks and I have to report on it, I make a conscious effort to step back from the scene and remind myself about the importance of watching what I let into my thoughts. Mary Baker Eddy, the Sentinel's founder, wrote this in Science and Health: "Stand porter at the door of thought" (p. 392). She also noted that Jesus made a conscious choice about what to see when he looked on those with problems: "Jesus beheld in Science the perfect man, who appeared to him where sinning mortal man appears to mortals" (pp. 476–477).

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

August 10, 2009

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.