Earlier, I watched the 19-minute video titled “Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story” on YouTube. The video features Nigerian-born writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie speaking during a Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference in July 2009 in Oxford, England.
During the conference, Adichie tells several anecdotes all connected to the idea of a “single story.” Adichie explains that she believes “…single stories create stereotypes.” While she does not consider stereotypes to be untrue, she does however consider them to be “incomplete.” This leads to a situation that Adichie hypothesizes as “[Single stories] make one story become the only story.”
Adichie’s message resonates profoundly for journalists, as one of the key components of journalists is getting both sides of the story. The occupation of a journalist is to be fair, imbalanced and unbiased when writing, telling or editing a story to made public. Getting both sides of the issue is critical when dealing with news on any story in order to get the truth.
To end her conference speech, Adichie spoke on the importance of stories themselves. “Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize.” I also firmly believe this ethical belief in journalism is highly unutilized as a whole. A prevalent subject in political debate within the general public is regarding the presence of a supposed bias, it has become a single story within itself. Within the future, journalism will reach a state where it will be on the brink of trust by the general public. Hopefully, the next generation of journalists can embrace Adichie’s lessons and rejuvenate public trust in mainstream news media.