Monday, February 18, 2008

J-Walking, or, Why I Don't Want to be a Journalist

About two weeks ago there was a mysterious rumor about a fellow UGA student getting hit by a transit bus while crossing in a crosswalk on Baldwin. (Rumor proved false: he actually fainted. Or something. But no bus.) This kind of information spreads very rapidly around here. Even at a school with over 25,000 undergraduates, I heard about it within 20 minutes and had not even left my house for the day yet.

I kept hearing little whispers about it all day-- speculation over whether it was indeed a bus hitting a boy or a bike running over a stray cat (I was totally hoping for the cat... heh) or whether anything happened on Baldwin Street at all besides the usual mass-j-walking occurrences in between classes.

When I finally got to my journalism class later in the day, talk had started to die down. No one could confirm anything and the people who originally claimed to have seen it disappeared. But since it was a journalism class, everyone was curious about the real scoop. One person in my class had apparently been hiding under a rock or in a cave somewhere and had no idea what we were talking about. He proceeded to get very excited about the prospect of a student getting hit by a bus as it would be a great front page story for the school paper. He was happy about the off-chance that this terrible accident could be a good selling piece for the newspaper.

It was in that moment that I decided I don't think I want to be a journalist.

I don't ever want to be excited about someone getting hit by a bus.

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