By Vlad Alforov
Talking to Josie Logsdon, 21-year-old OU journalism senior, one can quickly identify her strongest suits.
Arizona native’s high professional aspirations are apparent when she talks about her major. Logsdon tries to remain serious when mentioning journalism, but her excitement is showing.
Her other side comes out when Logsdon shares her deep fascination with Hispanic culture. Latin America and Spanish language have popped up in every conversation I had with her so far.
This time, I decided to focus on it.
As Logsdon approaches college graduation, she ponders whether her two passions can go together, and whether it’s worth it.
Do you have Hispanic background? No, my dad used to live in Guadalajara, Mexico. He studied there. When I was growing up and learning Spanish, we would go to Mexico all the time. As I learnt … I fell in love with it more and more.
How did learning Spanish influence you? They say, when you learn a new language you learn a new part of yourself. People say I am a bitch in Spanish. I dance a lot more to Spanish music. I am a lot more outgoing when I speak Spanish. I wouldn’t start a conversation with a McDonald’s worker, but if I am at the taco truck, I’ll talk them up until the person behind me in line gets annoyed. It is a different part of yourself, and it’s like you’ve learnt this new part of the world and … by learning that language you’re kind of accepted into that.
Do you feel ready to challenge yourself even further? I always wanted to put Spanish and journalism together. I also started learning Italian and Portuguese, but it never connected with me as much. I lived in Chile for six months, and there I was able to combine Spanish and journalism, and really see how corrupt the journalism systems are in Latin America. In Chile, if you find something wrong with the president and you report on it, you’ll get shot. If there’s something wrong with the government, your newspaper probably won’t let you report it.
Will you be combining Spanish and journalism in the future? How? What I would love to do is work for an American newspaper but in Latin America, so I am protected by the US, because I have a lot more faith in American journalism. There is a newspaper in Juarez that had to shut down because all their reporters got shot. There is a reason these people are being targeted. [They] are exposing truth that people don’t want to be exposed.
Is it going to stop you? I hope not. What scares me is that violence will stop journalism from happening. There’s gotta be a way to change that. I want to help change that. I can’t do it by myself.
What is a journalist’s role in all of this? Expose truth and people can decide.
Who will be your primary audience? It would start with the local, but if America knew more, they would be able to push more [change]. So, it’s both.
Can you do journalism remotely? You have to be there. You have to talk to people. It’s scary, and it scares me to think about it, and whether I will … I don’t know.
Why take the risk? Because if you can break one story, that can affect a lot of people. It’s worth it. It is risky. But there is more good to be done, there is a need for it. And fulfilling that need, I think, is more important. But … I’d have to be guaranteed protection. If my life was taken, there would need to be justice for it. Without that, I don’t know how easily I would go.
By Vlad Alforov
Interview has been condensed and edited