A Christian journalist from Ireland spoke to a crowd in the Gentile Gallery Wednesday, Oct. 2 about the history of his homeland and the importance of authentic journalism.
David Blevins, senior Ireland correspondent for Sky News and 2019 winner of the European Journal Institute’s Freedom of Press Award, discussed the importance of the media during the upheavals in Ireland in the late 20th century and how being a Christian has impacted his work in that field.
Blevins began his talk, entitled “Making Hope and History Rhyme,” by giving a brief overview of the dramatic history of Ireland. Up until 1998, when the 30 years of revolution between Catholics and Protestants came to an end in Ireland, Blevins’ world was one of violence and unrest.
“(My life) was filled with videos of bombs and bullets and barricades,” he said.
Blevins shared with the audience video clips of him reporting on news releases which offered a graphic visual concept of what happened during the riots and bombings of those days.
Through communication and compromise, Blevins explained, peace was able to finally come about in Ireland.
Although history can paint a despondent picture, Blevins said that there is always hope for a better end. He shared with the audience where he finds hope as a journalist and what motivates him to seek and report the truth, even when covering tragic or controversial topics.
“I find (hope) in my faith,” he said. “You don’t have to switch off your heart or your head to the objective. I would argue that if you do, your reporting is not authentic, it isn’t real.”
Despite the pressure to keep religion out of the media, Blevins argued that it is more important now than ever for journalists to include their principles in their work.
“It took me a long time to learn,” he said, “that I didn’t have to separate my history in journalism from my hope as a Christian. … Journalism was my history; theology was my hope.”
Junior Eloisa Gutierrez shared how the emphasis on faith in Blevins’ talk impressed her. “I really appreciated his approach to how he lives his faith in the field,” she said. “Even when he’s covering controversial topics or topics which the church doesn’t agree with, he approaches it with a very Christ-like attitude, and so, he still brings the glory of God into his work.”
Blevins’ presentation was hosted by the communication arts department.