What's With All the Art?
Art appreciation can help a journalist understand how the world works, and to an extent, art can help a journalist see the "big idea." If you're not an aspiring journalists (or an artist), art still has a purpose in your life.
Journalists are always told to write in the active voice, but the best journalists write actively (as opposed to passively). And I mean that in this sense: a blog post, print article, or any story should not present the news on a silver tray with the necessary utensils so it is easy for the reader to digest. You want your audience to be able to comprehend your work, but a good story will make its reader think about the "big idea" when they are done reading (and hopefully people will want to read more of your work). So in short, a good story will make something tick inside your reader's head.
The laudable works of art are the ones that convey the "big idea." A Van Gogh piece is not valuable because he used the most expensive art supplies and his labor rate was outrageously overpriced. People will perpetually admire Van Gogh because his artwork is a product of our culture that represents the "big idea" of his time (and maybe our time).
How can anyone convey the "big idea"? Easy! First, stop thinking inward. For example, if a sorority chapter is on the brink of being shut down because it needs to recruit more sisters, then the Bigs should NOT be worrying about how to recruit more sisters. What the chapter needs to do is help out the community more and raise awareness where it is needed. If the chapter is successful then it will naturally attract more pledges.
Journalists can only succeed if they are constantly think about the "big idea." The first step is to be objective. Yes, journalists hate objectivity in the 21st century but think of it this way: a news source is a market place for ideas and debate. If everyone loves what you chose to write about then you as a journalist have failed (and probably failed to write actively). Remember: there is always a bigger reason for writing.