January 5, 2015

The Power of the Pen: Garang John, Edward R. Murrow Participant

[On Screen] "In learning how others have faced their problems, this has given me fresh ideas about how to tackle mine." -Edward R. Murrow
My name is Garang John Deng, I come from South Sudan, I am a journalist by profession. Edward R. Murrow program is such a program that is really meant to help us, the journalists.  
I came to understand about Edward R. Murrow himself through his writings, the books. When I started my journalism I used his books to be able to help myself to understand the career. So through that, it was a privilege for me to be part of this program - I was honored. 
In my country, in my own family, I am the last born. I was born when the war was on. And my father was killed when I was at the age of 4 years. He used to send me to get newspapers for him to read. I will walk kilometers to go and get a newspaper. So come a feeling in me that I wish I was able to be able to do this; to help my people to get the information, that's where it began.  
I have taste the bitterness of war myself. Vehicles have been attacked when I am inside, bullet flying all over, people killing my presence, and I manage. God help me that's why I am alive today. So looking at the deepness of suffering in my country, where people are fighting, facing each other with weapons. I said well, it could be high time we use, we stop the weapons and use power of the pen. 
You know when you take a pen and write, it's powerful more than anything. The power of words, the power of information is more strong than anything, and this is where I started. We met brilliant lecturers who understand what it takes to be a journalist. They are a part of the society, they have been practicing, and they know what it takes. Though time was not enough, but I have learned a lot, and it's up to me now, to go and try to see what to do. 
The good news of this program to help us to connect, you know, media, journalism, is like a society. We are like a global village. I started to understand that it is not me alone. I have brother somewhere. And if they are in trouble, I will have to add my voice.   
What inspired me to become a journalist is, apart from using guns, there can be another alternative to try to bring democracy. And how do I educate my people? I better use media as a tool to educate my people.
For the last few weeks that I have been here, I have gain a lot. I'm just, I'm waiting, I'm eagerly waiting to be able to get back home and start again, doing what I should be doing, to help my community. 
I am a journalist because I believe in power of a pen, power of information, to change the world, make it a better place for us all.