I don't care what you call it

"...story-telling is too F*****G important."

That was the last sentence in an email I recently received from a friend regarding my latest rant about newspapers and video.

I wanted to dramatically storm out of my office after I was inundated with congratulatory emails from my normally-silent colleagues regarding my record click-breaking video: coleslaw wrestling.

I'm used to hearing: stories matter.

Not clicks, not keeping the attention of overly stimulated frazzled ADD viewers, not revenues, not keeping it under 2 minutes, not name dropping.

No, I was told that stories matter. And I still believe it.

My good friend quelled my initial desire to walk out by assuaging me with hope. She says the system sucks but we can rise above it because we're "young, energetic, innovative, smart, ambitious, compassionate storytellers and the most important charachteristic that everyone else cannot claim...is that we are not jaded (yet)."

I hope this is true.

While I have trouble admitting that I am guilty of abandoning the newspaper industry to tell stories in my own way, I will readily admit my guilt in one area: I want to tell stories.

I want to use my skills to do something greater than coleslaw videos.  I'm not discounting that those videos have their place.

Is this what those pioneer photojournalists faced when they were told to censor their photos to appease the general audience? Did they dream about documenting life without the bindings of revenues and angry phone calls from disgruntled newspaper readers? Are these the sentiments that spurned Magnum and VII? Mediastorm even?

I have not given up on story-telling or on journalism. I am simply walking away from the chaos I'm in and into the world of advocacy journalism. I'm sure the same problems exist: money and all its shenanigans. But I hope to create journalism that attempts to make a change, that attempts to make the world a better place.

Call it propaganda, call it an oxymoron if you like, but I translate this burning urge in me as a dedication and commitment to tell the truth in an attempt to make the world a better place.

Friends, fellow journalists, ambitious photojournalism majors struggling to learn multimedia because you need a job  -  take the advice of my wise hopeful friend: story-telling is too important to give up.