By Julian De Ocampo ’13
CO EDITOR IN CHIEF
“We have art in order to not die of truth,” Nietzsche wrote in the 19th century.
From my experience as a journalist, I’ll have to disagree with the venerable German philosopher.
Journalism is paradoxical in that it is both an art and a science. Just check out the nation’s top journalism schools and you’ll see that they’re torn between awarding Masters of Arts and Masters of Science degrees.
As an act of storytelling, journalism’s goal is to find the art behind the truth, to tease out the hidden nuances of beauty that live and breathe the same air as the rest of us.
We have journalism for the same reason we have all forms of culture: to explain ourselves and to coexist in the stories of others.
I’ve been working on The Roundup for three years now. It’s taken up countless hours of my life and probably prevented me from taking a few interesting electives that Brophy has to offer.
At first, it’s hard to imagine why a school newspaper would be so compelling to work on.
But the more I think about it, the more I believe that I made the right choice.
Seeing Brophy through the eyes of a student journalist is a unique perspective that opens so many new doors to the high school experience.
It’s a chance to network and meet people who you might never get the chance to talk to otherwise, and to create a portfolio of work that you can be proud of and stand beside.
The Roundup is getting to sit down with Principal Mr. Bob Ryan and ask him difficult questions about the school’s stance on religion and the freedom of speech.
The Roundup is getting to interview Director of Security Mr. John Buchanan in his office and find out about his passion for baking.
The Roundup is trying to articulate the complex ways rhythms clatter and guitars twang at Battle of the Bands each year.
In short, it’s the chance to crawl into the shoes of hundreds of different people and bring them to life on the page or screen.
Everyone in the Brophy community is capable of answering a few questions in front of a voice recorder. But not everyone is capable of taking those words and turning them into compelling prose.
Professionally, I’ve long questioned what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted a million careers without ever feeling like I was getting bored.
Then I realized that as a storyteller, you get to explore the best – and worst – of every profession for a living.
So yes, journalism is both a science and an art.
As a science, it requires precision and a commitment to truth. And as an art, it requires ingenuity, creativity and practice.
Next year, I’m planning to get that practice by studying journalism and English at one of the nation’s top journalism schools at the University of Southern California.
To be honest, I’m not really sure where I’m going to be in 20 years, but I’m hoping that storytelling will be in my future.
I mean, when you think about it, journalism is the chance to get paid, get out into the world, talk to amazing people and bear witness to the stories that make us tick.
I know it’s a rough and often maligned industry, but at its best, it’s one that is necessary, vital and inspiring.