I had the privilege to go listen to Mona Eltahawy, and her talk about how Twitter saved her life. It was so inspirational to listen to a powerful women standing up for herself and her country. She told us about her time protesting in Cairo in Tahrir Square where she was held hostage and assaulted. She is such a great example of active journalism.
I thought it was really interesting that she said after September 11 she gave up her title as an objective journalist. We are taught in all our journalism classes the importance of objectivity in our writing, but here's a successful journalist making a difference with her beliefs and opinions. I think part of the reason Mona is so influential is because she's passionate about subjects she's fighting for and talking about, which is why people are captivated by her tweets.
I also really liked what she said when she compared Twitter to an empty room. She said when you first get a Twitter, you are essentially in an empty room until you start adding people you want to follow. Then, it's like you are at a party and you are picking what people you want to talk to. If you aren't interesting, then people aren't going to talk to you- or in her analogy- follow you back. So you start creating this room and environment for interesting people, but this could also be a negative thing. If you don't have the right people in your room, then your ideas won't go anywhere. It's all about the connections you make to get your voice heard and people to care.
Mona's talk was so moving and really inspired me to be passionate about everything that I do. She re-motivated me and reminded me that journalism is something that I love and not to get bogged down in challenges.