BY DARYL BJORAAS
I’ve spent a total of about three days in Ireland, and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m slowly becoming overwhelmed. Trying to come up with a story idea for a country and culture that I have a limited knowledge of has proved to be one of the more challenging things I’ve done in my journalism career thus far. Now I’ve always considered myself to be somewhat of a decent journalist, but lately this trip has me questioning my abilities. I’m not nervous about the shooting, the editing or even the limited amount of time I have to work on this project. What I’m nervous about is the level of understanding or credibility I have on reporting about this culture. Truth be told, I only know 72 hours’ worth. Although I’m learning with each day, I’m afraid it’s not enough for me.
No matter how much I might study the Irish culture this week, I’ll never be able to tell a story in the way that an authentic Irish journalist could. A week just isn’t enough. In a world that craves originality, I feel like the cliché tourist, only this time I have a tripod to go along with my camera.
The story that I have chosen to work on this week in Dublin deals with the historical context of the Fighting Irish stereotype and how it differs from today’s conception of the Irish. I’m curious to know if the concept of “fighting” still exists in the current Irish culture. I’m working to get an interview with an assistant public relations officer at the Irish Defence Forces in Dublin. I’m hoping he can give me some sort of insight into the history on the early Irish military forces as well as some of the military peacekeeping operations that the Irish military is working on today in various countries around the world. After that I’d like to interview an Irish military historian somewhere around Dublin, but I am having trouble locating one thus far. This proves a challenge since I have no pre-established connections anywhere in Ireland.
Despite the difficulties and doubts I seem to be having, I’m still going to try my best because I know that everything great in life must be earned. Is authenticity earned, or are you just born with it? I’ll have to find out.
“God gives every bird a worm, but he does not throw it into the nest.” —Swedish Proverb