Learning From The Past

I was recently asked why I had decided to get a history minor along with my media studies degree. “Well,” I replied,” I’m required to have a minor with my degree program.”

But that explains why I have a minor, not why I have a history minor. History, in my opinion, is one of the most important subjects a student can learn. Not only do we learn where we have come from, but we learn the lessons of those who lived before us. We’ve all heard the saying about how someone who doesn’t pay heed to history is doomed to repeat the same mistakes. I believe this with my whole being.

History plays a pivotal role in our lives. Everything we do is rooted in our past. Our students read books by men long gone, our military studies tactics used in past battles, and law is all based on precedents laid out before. The future for us is laid out by studying the past.

The next inevitable question, however, provoked a little more thought. “How does that factor in to your media studies?”

I had to ponder this one for a bit, before I realized that my answer goes back to the founding of our nation.

“One thing that I love about what I do is that I can cover a great variety of events.” I replied. “I can explore anything that is news-worthy. But more importantly, journalism offers me the chance to write about history as it happens. It’s plausible that one day, my words could be how an event is remembered. Besides, our founding fathers all had a background in writing. Journalism is one of the oldest professions, evolving through history. Benjamin Franklin worked in the industry, and look at all he did. He wasn’t constricted by job titles, but did anything and everything he could think of.”

I feel that my background is one that gives me what I need to be a good journalist. I tried my hand at studying law, and could have gone further, but I wanted a job of excitement, which is what this industry gives me. My background in history is one I believe should be necessary for any journalist. My studies in the area not only increased my reading, but my knowledge of other cultures. I believe the best journalist has a variety of skills, but isn’t an expert in any of them. I also think that the man who claims to have mastered a skill is in for a rude awakening. History has shown us that there is always room to improve, to learn.

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About Benjamin D. Peters

Ben is a reporter for The Missouri Times. Missouri State University alum, degree in media. http://SeeDisclaimer.com View all posts by Benjamin D. Peters

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