Friday, April 29, 2011

Wayne Barrett

After meeting Wayne Barrett in person, I must say that my preconceived notions of him were confirmed. I was under the impression that Barrett was not only a great investigative journalist, but also quite the workaholic. After hearing his compelling speech in regards to current NYC events and issues, as well as his overall opinions about the profession of journalism, I realize that Barrett has no choice but to work as hard as he does. Barrett's calling in life was to be a journalist. He doesn't look at finding the next big story and uncovering the truth as a "job." He is instead one of those few lucky people who were able to find their true calling in life, and his calling was to be a journalist and he loves every minute of it. Barrett has single handedly uncovered some of the most scandalous stories that have hit NYC. He doesn't care if people hate him, in fact, he seems to find pleasure out of knowing he is considered such a threat to some of the most powerful politicians and other various figures. His lack of concern for being "liked" is further shown when he explains how he can recall "walking into a conference room with 200 people...and they all hate you." Also, learning that he was actually arrested by Donald Trump one day after attending a birthday party was quite an enjoyable story to listen too.

Barrett is truly a journalist that aspiring journalists can really look up too. Barrett says the profession of journalism is so unique because journalists are "paid to write the truth and you can't really say that about many other professions." Not only is he 'not afraid to go there,' he is also a genuine person who anyone can relate too. He never let his fame go to his head, and he certainly doesn't seem to believe that he is better than anyone else. Barrett believes anyone has the power, especially in with the available technology today, to uncover the truth about any story. He feels investigative journalism is very much alive today and does have a future. Barrett's love for journalism is further shown through his overall character. He speaks so positively about journalism, and believes that journalism is quite a noble profession. Overall, Barrett is a wonderful public speaker and just as entertaining as he is informative. He still recognizes himself to be a proud New Yorker, and also proud of his Brooklyn roots.

Although some might find Barrett's speeches controversial, I find them eye opening. He explains himself that most of what he says, in regards to political figures and controversies, are not his opinion, but actual facts that anyone can check for themselves. If anything, people should be thankful to have a journalist like Barrett in NYC to do all the 'dirty work' for them. He makes enemies, works hard to find the truth, and then shares it will all of us. To me, that is precisely what a great journalist does. Barrett sets the standards high for journalism, as it should be. Too much of what we read today in newspapers and see on television does not provide the whole truth of a story. However, Barrett does, and he presents his facts and findings in a very clear and understandable fashion. Overall, I was very impressed with Barrett after being given the opportunity to hear him speak at Brooklyn College. I am very thankful that the lecture was made possible by Professor Ron Howell as well as the Wolfe Institute. I look forward to the next time Barrett is available to come speak at Brooklyn College, and maybe even cross paths again with him one day during my professional journey as a journalist.

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