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Life |ISSUE I

LIFE IN NEW YORK

By Carly Menkin

5th Avenue/Photo Courtesy of Carly Menkin

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5th Avenue/Photo Courtesy of Carly Menkin

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As I board a congested subway car, the realization struck me; I haven't written in a journal since my high school days. I see a teenage girl sitting across from me on the N train, scribbling away as we venture towards the West Side. It looks cathartic. So despite my lack of pen and paper, I begin to do the same. On my iPhone. This is the way of the modern New Yorker. We carry heels in our purse, but commute in flats. We carry copious amounts of cash, knowing cabbies hate customers with credit cards. We walk on the pot-holed street in said heels to avoid tourists at any cost. We touch strangers on a daily basis. We are New Yorkers. Inspiring, efficient, abrasive & creative motherfuckers. Let's just say we've learned a lot from the cockroaches who've been here millennia before we arrived on the island of Manhattan. We've learned how to survive.

Carly Menkin a native of South Africa, now resides in New York where she is pursuing a career in the performing arts. She has been seen on stage with legends like Stevie Nicks, Chicago & Carol Channing

​"When I grow up, I want to be a journalist" how many of us thought that when they were younger? Apparently, journalism is one of the last professions that makes people dream. And not for nothing, there is a whole myth surrounding it. It is books, cartoons, movies and also TV shows which created « the legend ». The journalist is seen as a reporter, a guy who travels, investigates, is incredibly smart and intuitive, who finds the truth by asking the good questions to the right people. Unless having a beautiful voice and becoming the next American Idol, journalism is an effective way to acquire some social prestige; but also an alternative to working in an office, filling work paper all day long and answering heavy phones.

The reality is not as glamorous as depicted though and many young journalists are being disenchanted quickly.  Choosing the professions means knowing the money wont be there. It means too, and in general, studying for years, having no stable schedule at work. It means covering subjects that aren’t interesting to us. It means following an editorial line that can be in opposition with our personal ideas. Many say as a joke – but which can be sometimes very close from the truth – that it is a “job for future alcoholics and divorced people”.

What is depicted here is not very encouraging. Nevertheless, good reasons remains to perseverate in this crazy dream. First, it is a profession truly useful to the people. Information needs to be produced and broadcasted, for the sake of democracy.  Journalism is at the roots of ideas, allowing the public to construct an opinion. The journalist is not here to convince you, as would do a communicant, he should be there to explain, give the right elements, and most of all, show the world as it is: chaotic. This is harsh but crucial. Of course this last condition is not always respected, and bias is one of the heaviest accusations pending on medias nowadays. Particularly when we know – between News Corp and the Time Warner – how works the medias and who detain them.

The willing of becoming a journalist is understandable. The world is facing a world financial crisis; young people are seeing their parents, who worked hard all their life loosing their job, their houses. So journalism could be seen as a refugee. It is an intellectual job that, even if it does not offer a good pay, offer at least a social status.  The person who wants to go for it and embrace the job has to be aware. Aware of the difference between the myth of journalism and its reality. This person has to be really perseverant to achieve his goals and not to stay stuck behind a desk. This person has to remember journalism is a necessary profession, not a place where to hide.

Nathalie Moga, 25, studied at the Journalism School of Grenoble, France, she also studied in Paris and in California. Born in Strasburg though, from an Afghan mother and a Romanian father.

Faxed Newspaper/Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo / Het Leven / Fotograaf onbekend, SFA022813039.

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Faxed Newspaper/Nationaal Archief / Spaarnestad Photo / Het Leven / Fotograaf onbekend, SFA022813039.

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Life as a Journalist                                                                                  ISSUE I: CITIZEN OF THE WORLD 4.12

By Nathalie Moga

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