Ink: A Matter of the Heart

Kelsey - Moraga, California
Entered on December 29, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I slowly open the door and allow the aroma to permeate my senses; the mélange of scents, coffee and fresh ink, washes over me. There is hope in my heart, hope that the words on the newly printed pages will challenge the masses, convince them to care – hope that my voice will be heard. I trust that the multiple drafts and endless edits are worth every exhausting hour spent in the cramped journalism room. I trust the harsh, white light illuminating from the computer so early in the morning and I trust the black ink on my fingers because I believe in newspapers.

In a world where gossip of Britney Spears’ new hair cut and Brangelina’s recent foreign adoptions litter the cover of every magazine, I take comfort in basic black ink and recycled paper. Newspapers contain real stories, stories that affect the world on a deeper level than the posters are hanging on teenagers’ bedroom walls. While voyeurs may flock over the fluff that entertainment websites publish hourly, newspapers provide evidence that there is a real world out there beyond the Hollywood hills. Genocides in Sudan, earthquakes in China, massacres in India – I feel it is my job as a citizen of humanity to be informed about the happenings around me and, ultimately, to record and share my findings in my own articles.

Time magazine’s founder, Henry Luce, reminisced after a lifetime career, “I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.” The heartbeat resides in the words on the pages. I believe in the power of the written word, a connection between nations, to transcend the boundaries of country lines. As an aspiring journalist, my deepest desire is to experience and write about my world. I wish to see the cotton fields of India, to hear Russian symphonies and chatter between Korean friends, to converse in Arabic with an Egyptian baker. Living in small-town Moraga, these far away places are but mere fantasies. Yet newspapers bring daily gifts, keyholes to the rest of the world. I’m indifferent to the latest gossip about American Idol, but I relish any substantive information regarding the suffering Indian women whose faces I hope to greet someday.

After scanning the latest issue of my high school newspaper, remembering and taking satisfaction in the past month’s dedication from myself and fellow staff members, I walk briskly to my designated classrooms for delivery. As I gently place the stack of newspapers on the desk, I’m greeted by murmurs of excitement, and also of expectation. What will this issue feature? Newspapers are promises, promises that my world is not simply the small town of Moraga, but also the far away places that, for now, I can only imagine.