Journalist is someone whose main occupation is conducting or cooperating to draft and compose the editorial content of a newspaper, magazines or radio or television programs. But, according to Media Entertainment and Art Alliance (MEAA), “journalist describes society itself. They seek for truth. They convey information, ideas and opinion, a privileged role. They search, disclose, record, question, entertain, suggest and remember. They inform citizens and animate democracy. They give a practical form to freedom of expression. Many journalist works for private enterprise, but all these have public responsibilities. MEAA members engaged in journalism commit themselves to honesty, fairness, independence and respect for the rights of others.”
On 23 February 2008, I got a chance to follow a journalist from Utusan Malaysia, Raja Syarir Abu Bakar who is a journalist from general table in Utusan Malaysia. After he got experiences from Astro in broadcasting field, he becomes to be a journalist because of his enthusiasm in writing.
Around 11.30 am, I met him in Kuala Lumpur Central because he has to cover an event there. It is about “Hari Bersama Pelanggan” by Malaysia’s Ministry of Defense. First of all, I saw he walked around in that event, likes an observer. After that, he started to get source for his news. Then, he found sources to make interview session. I heard his questions and he likes to know many things from that event. He also asked me to give question. So, I asked the interviewee an important question that I think he forgot to ask. After that, he made another interview session with public people who were coming in this event. There, I also saw how a journalist got special attends from public. I also heard a voice said, “Wartawan punya pasal apa-apa pun boleh”. Look, I feel not bad to be a journalist.
Around 1 pm, he brought me to Utusan Malaysia newsroom. There, I was introduced with all the staff. Although his boss quit fierce and love to angry anyone but he still give me a chance to visit Utusan Malaysia’s building. So, I went to visit photography unit and information technology unit or library. Now, I know that any person can use that library to find information or picture as references.
After that, we returned to newsroom and started to write news. I saw his writing is like what my lecturer thought to me. He wrote very objective, concise without sermon and so on. In my opinion, his writing is nice to read. Beside that, I knew as a journalist, I can ask our interviewee’s contact number to contact them if we need more information after we come back to newsroom.
Around 3pm, the journalist got another assignment. He needs to cover a press conference by a political party. So, I have not to lose this opportunity and I followed him to see how to cover news for press conference at Petaling Jaya.
Oh, no! Like a journalist, Anand, from Utusan Malaysia said, press conference is so boring and I agreed with him. There, I could see how reporters compete to ask question in the press conference. Beside that, I also feel how reporters attempt to take part and get information in press conference. The press conference finished around 5.30 pm.
So, for the first time I followed a reporter to cover news, I feel so excited. When I followed him to cover an event at morning, I think I can be a journalist. But, when we got another assignment at evening, I become tired. I do not know is it I can be a journalist or not. Before this, I just cover a news per day, but now I know a reporter will received one, two or three event per day to cover. Oh, quit tired to be a journalist. But I still feel and think that journalism profession is an interesting profession although many people said that a journalist not have personal life.