College is a paradox, and so is our country.

College has made me more impassioned, more idealistic and more cynical. Impossible, you say? Just wait.

After a lengthy discussion with my dad about today’s society and our inability to understand economics and politics, I am left with a disturbing amount of tenuous energy. So what do I do? In true journalistic fashion, I write about it.

It seems like our country is full of millions of people who don’t understand nearly enough to be productive citizens. We live in the freest, most privileged country in the world, and I am sure fewer than half Americans can say how and why we achieved that. Sitting in my classes on philosophy, literature, history and economics, I realize that I have this drive to somehow improve the way society functions. But how? The combined effects of my journalism and economics studies have given me this urge to educate. Call it the blind optimism of journalism school or too many hours in HOJO, but I want to change how people view the media and objectivity. I have this unfounded anger at overly partisan shows featured on supposedly credible news channels. Despite my anger, I logically know this attracts viewers. I understand the concept of the economic business model of journalism. I also understand most people just don’t care. Yet I have this hope it can change.

Is it so hard to ask people to get educated, or educate themselves? Is it so hard to revert back to good ol’ honest journalism? Many cynicists I know would probably quip that journalists have never been honest, but I beg to differ. We just don’t have people like Walter Kronkite and Edward R. Murrow reporting to us and urging us to draw conclusions and partake in the public discourse. To me, this is tragic.

Is it so wrong to want people to have an awareness of what is going on around them? Is it too idealistic of me to think that journalists and politicians should not only want to achieve in their own self-interest (as rational, decision-making consumers are wont to do), but also serve the public?

Sigh. All these big ideas floating in my head have nowhere to go.