Dear reader, this “assignment” of updating this blog once a week comes to me the most naturally out of all of my homework. In short, I enjoy it. Immensely. (I guess I’m in the right field, eh?) I’ve always liked writing, for my own purpose, for the purpose of sharing, and for brainstorming ideas. I simply find that I am more eloquent on paper (or computer screen) than in person with the spoken word. Not to say that I’m a complete dullard when I stand before you, but I have a way of expressing my personality more clearly when I’m organizing my thoughts for print.
That being said, I want this man’s job. That’s right, Andrew Evans, I have it out for you.
He’s the “Digital Nomad” for one of National Geographic’s online blogs about traveling intelligently. Essentially everything about his job makes me drool. He gets to travel and take photos, videos, audio, and of course write blog posts. He is the quintessential multimedia journalist. And all of these aspects of journalism are the ones that I appreciate the most; the personality that comes with blogging, the visual aspects of the story, and really immersing a reader/viewer in the environment with sound.
Aside from my love of the visual, I love that his job requires him to travel. I’ve always thought that a well rounded person had to have some idea of the world outside of oneself. The times in life when I’ve felt the most enlightened have been when I’ve been pushed out of my daily routine, usually in a foreign place. The mundane and repetitive cycle of weeks and months of school and work make me lose track of the outside world, as if there is no other world outside of Mizzou, Columbia, Missouri, or even outside of my mind. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, the college experience is important, but it reinforces our sense of self, instead of a sense of worldwide community. It’s hard to think that the only thing that separates us from Africa is the Pacific Ocean, and that the people there are living what they know as normal lives. And the people on the other side of Africa in the Middle East are also living out their lives as normally as possible. Whatever the word “normal” means. But we all have a socialized idea of it. It’s what’s been taught to us through entertainment, media and parenting.
I think it’s incredibly important to understand the world we live in, which is why I love National Geographic. And these more personal blogs make the publication more inviting, simple, and less intimidating than the magazine itself. As a child, I didn’t think National Geographic was an easy read. I was intimidated by its density and thus avoided it until I started getting interested in photography, and then I just looked at the pictures. But the accessibility of the blog, it’s shorter length, less formal diction, and more personal voice make the message conveyed easier to digest and helps it resonate with us more. Essentially, the personal touch of the blog makes it feel like the viewer is in a conversation with this person, that they’re speaking directly to the reader, and thus, it affects their thoughts more directly. I’ve always been a fan of less formal writing, so I suppose this is why blogs sit with me so well.
So hopefully when I graduate from the University of Missouri with my polished new journalism degree, I’ll be able to land a somewhat similar position. However much I covet Evans’ job, I would be willing to start at a less well known publication and work my way up like the rest. And I can’t oust a man who’s doing his job well. So you’re safe Evans…for now.