Gut Instincts

“Trust your gut” is something we’re all told from the start. The “gut” part of “gut feeling” probably came from the churning sensation of anticipation and/or excitement that seemed to emanate from the center of the body. It has an almost warm sensation, like a warm blanket of certainty is slowly seeking out all the nooks and crannies until it hits its target-your brain. I’ve gotten this feeling about several things. For one, when I lose something I’ll usually have a pang of instant feeling after searching for awhile, almost like I have a sensor that has never been more certain of anything in its entire electronic life. And then the sureness washes over me with an almost relief that my brain has caught up to its gut.

I’m not just typing out the word “gut” because it’s a funny word (which it is). I’m also explaining the whole gut scenario (I can’t help myself) because as a journalism student, we’re told to “go with our gut” even more so than the rest of the population. My J2100 lab instructor last semester told us that even if your editor advises you against doing something, a “gut instinct” was enough to disregard their warning and sniff out the story anyways. To place that much trust on one sensation must mean that it’s worth something, right?

I’ve wondered how much leeway an editor (your boss) would give on something like that. Because if an editor has a gut instinct about you not pursuing it, who’s instinct should you trust? How much responsibility should we place on something that sounds as silly as a gut? My stomach could be disabled, unknowing, misguided, or even self-destructive. Who’s to say my gut has good intentions for me? All silliness aside, is it odd that we place so much trust on what we treat as a premonition? That’s what it’s basically referenced as. If someone were to say, “I can see that in the future, this story is going to win me a Pulitzer,” we would all laugh at them. No one would ever take that journalist serious again. A “gut feeling” has the same connotation. You know, but you don’t know how. And the “how” is incredibly important in journalism. A journalist who makes a claim against someone better show how they got their information. A “I just know” excuse would never hold up in court when they’re being sued for libel.

So how far should we take the “gut” feeling? Is it really our bodies telling us to dig more? Or is it really caused by something much more self-serving, like ego perhaps? I’m not so sure. I don’t have a gut feeling about this one.

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Obligatory Hello

Hello, this is Katie speaking (or typing). This blog is primarily for my J2150 class at the University of Missouri. This is not my first foray into blogging, I have another, more personal blog that I use for satirical purposes. It’s a fun way for me to practice blogging, so I put a link to it on this blog (hopefully it shows up.) This is however my first blog on WordPress so I am a little jumbled on here, it’s a bit more complicated than Blogger, but I will survive (cue music).

Our long term assignment seems like a good practice for real world journalism. Especially since most journalism (if they’re smart) are heading towards more multimedia. I am a photo j major as of now, so I have a head start on a lot of the camera work, but I’ve never really shot video or audio and I certainly haven’t edited it or used any of the programs we’re required to use. It’s a bit daunting, but I think it’s useful information so I’ll put a lot of effort into learning it quickly.

I have three ideas for my subject. Since this class is very visual, I’d like to choose a topic that lends itself to that. I would also like something that interests me considering I’m going to be spending a lot of time with this project and a grand majority of my points rests on it. My preferred choice would be the “King of Queens” for the True/False movie festival. If you’re not aware of the Queens that grace the festival, they’re the ones dressed insanely that hand out Q (meaning “queue”) cards for those trying to get seats to a film an hour or so before the movie starts. All of the costumes are very visual and take people with character to fill them, so I’m certain it would be an entertaining subject to say the least.

My second choice would be the owner/operator of Fyrefae Productions. The company puts on burlesque shows in the Columbia area and are known to be very entertaining. Again, it’s very visual and something that I personally find interesting.

My third, and least likely subject, would be the barefoot runner of the Missouri area, Rick. I saw him when I was in cross country and we were working the water tables for the local Heart of America Marathon. He had on a shirt that had his website (barefootrunner.org) on it. He seemed very happy to be barefoot and did rather well considering he had no soles under his feet. Again it’s a visual and odd thing that people would probably find interesting, even if they’re not into running. And being a runner myself I am very interested in the subject.

I’m very optimistic about this class, it’s certainly more in my target area of journalism than J2100 was (news writing/reporting), and it may actually be enjoyable as well as incredibly informative/useful for future use. If only the programs won’t completely change by the time I graduate. One can hope.

Toodles!

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