Interview: Sofi Halpin on the importance of storytelling

Freshman English major Sofi Halpin responds to a talk by journalist and war correspondent Mike Boettcher about the importance of storytelling and how to cover war effectively.

In response to Mike Boettcher’s speech, here are my thoughts:

I admit that I don’t know the full scope of what’s going on in the Middle East. I do know that there are pretty horrific things going on, with regards to ISIS. Whether or not I believe that the United States should launch a military campaign to battle ISIS (or whether the president needs Congress’s approval)–because, frankly, I am not sure what my opinion is on the matter–I do believe that citizens require a clear picture of what issues are facing their country and their world. To do that, we require storytellers who can create that clear picture. Journalists like Mike Boettcher, who put themselves right in the middle of the action to tell the story as accurately and realistically as possible, do excellent, important work and are essential because they relaying information to the public. It’s appalling, then, that journalists like James Foley and Steven Sotloff are being brutally murdered for doing the kind of work Boettcher does. I don’t know what should be done about the situation, but journalists do work that is much too important not to be preserved and protected.