Justin Galletly

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Going into my beat, I knew I was tackling some touchy subject matter, but I didn’t fully wrap my head around the extent of how big an issue my particular beat topic was. I’ve been aware of the issue of systemic racism for a while, but much of my knowledge was very surface level and not well educated in the grand scheme of things. Taking on this beat to cover how the issue affects Black’s regarding health care coverage was a big eye-opener for me, as I never fully realized how big a deal the problem was until now. It really touched me to speak to educators on the subject and fully understand how bad the problem has been for long, as it gave me a sense of perspective I never had previously.

Covering this beat has really made me realize how much broader my options are for journalism and reporting than I had previously considered. Going into this field, I was much more interested in covering media, such as working to become a video game or movie critic, something more fun and escapist rather than real world events. While I would still love to work for a publication like the Hollywood Reporter, covering a serious topic like systemic racism helped me realize that I probably would be fine covering serious events as well. It’s still not my ideal journalism angle, but I think I’m more up for it than I was previously, as covering social justice issue is an important matter, and there’s a sense of satisfaction coming off of it.

While doing this beat, I wouldn’t say I’ve become more aware of social justice issues, more than I’m better educated on them. I was very politically active in the immediate years out of high school, and for several years after as I was getting further into my college career. I’ve been a little less active in the political space since several professors warned me about taking a side as they’ve pushed this idea of “objective reporting”, and that taking a stance in politics put you at risk of getting blacklisted.

Taking part in this beat has helped remind me why being politically aware is important and to always take consideration for those less fortunate and have all the facts on the table. While I will never fully understand what its like to deal with systemic racism given my privilege as a straight white male, I think that privilege makes it all the more important that I’m aware of these problems. I have the ability to take a stand against it and help those in need, and even if I can’t officially take a side in some reporting circles, having all the facts and reporting them accurately can make a huge difference. I hope I can continue to make an impact and help those less informed who are willing to listen know the whole truth so they can hopefully make the right decisions regarding standing up to systemic racism.

ABOUT ME:

I’m a college student attending the University of Utah currently working toward my Bachelor’s degree of science in Journalism. I hope to move to Los Angeles after college and get a job writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Deadline, or any other entertainment-based journalist organizations.