The FRI taught me how to collect information from different sources and put it together to form a strong unbiased discussion of a situation. On the bus ride to St. Louis, with help from the comments from other students and the traveling faculty, I was able to piece together everything we had seen to form a solid understanding of a situation. We visited Big Oak Tree State Park, which allowed me to see the human impact on ecology. Also examined was the difference in flooding in the Birds Point floodway because the ecological changes. The Army Corps provided technical background on flooding, while the mayor demonstrated the necessity of speaking out for lost material and business wealth.
The FRI allowed me to conclude that you should go into the story with caution unless you have a strong background in the issue and understand the biases of the players involved.
Sociologically, we tend to overdramatize an event or situation. This allows us to gain justification for our actions or someone else’s. News is news, but we should be aware that the news or opinion should be put into perspective of the situation so as not to cause an overdramatization.
by Claire Friedrichsen
Edited by Kerry Clark (Soil Judging Sponsor, holding a journalism degree)