Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Honoring Journalists

After almost a year's hiatus from this blog, an announcement and article has piqued my interest enough for me to pick this blog back up again. What I am recommending today is Time Magazine’s article The Guardians and War on Truth. Time Magazine is naming slain and imprisoned journalist as Persons of the Year for 2018. 

The link to the article hereRead it. Watch the video.

With this, I will be re-launching this blog of mine. Yes, I will review books and other media, but I will also draw to your attention, articles in magazines (like this one) that I think are important. I will point you to blogs, as well as podcasts.

Plus, because so many of my readers are my Facebook Friends, I plan to copy and paste the same information onto my Facebook page with posts that I will make ‘Public.’

When I was a young person all I wanted to be was a journalist. I would walk into a newsroom and salivate. When I got my first job as a news “stringer,” I remember getting down on my knees. I had been given a sacred trust and I prayed that I would never, ever forget this. To the best of my ability I would strive as best I could to be honest and truthful. My regular “beats” were city council, school board, college board, plus numerous features and light pieces. I wanted even the feature articles I wrote about craft fairs and figure skaters and track meets and art shows to bring shalom to my community.

Later on, when I went from writing articles to writing literacy materials and eventually to writing novels, my prayer has remained the same - that my writing will bring peace, health and honesty.

This is the prayer of most journalists. Contrary to what you may have heard, there isn’t this huge conspiracy of corrupt journalists seeking to bring down the government. Heavens, we don’t get paid enough for that! 

At a time when democracy is threatened all over the planet, this profession is vital. Journalists are the link between despots and the people. They bring worldwide suffering to our attention. When you see soldiers on their way to battle, there is also the PRESS not far behind, holding up their huge cameras to bring you the story.

After a gunman entered the newsroom of the Capital Gazette in Washington DC this past June and shot dead Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters the editor wrote this:

“Tomorrow this page will return to its steady purpose of offering our readers informed opinion about the world around them, that they might be better citizens.”

The Capital Gazette is a local newspaper like a lot of newspapers, like the papers I wrote for, like the one you probably read. They bring you the hockey scores from the local kids’ games, the visit by Santa, the local weather, your city or town council budget, plus features of interest such as photos of that new police dog, the woman in your town who is still watercolor painting at age 90, and what roads to avoid because of construction. 

And then there are the larger papers who bring you photos of that war torn country that you might not ever see—the children, the families, the devastation that climate change is wreaking on our northern communities, pictures of that oil spill, that forest fire, the in-depth profiles of that despot, the awful flooding. Journalists bring you the world.

 My advice has always been to never get your entire news diet from one source. That's a sure fire way to become narrow minded. (If you are, then stop immediately!) Read widely. Watch widely. Read with discernment and if someone tells you "that's Fake News," don't take their word for it. Find out for yourself. Journalists are not the enemy of the people. Journalists speak for the people.

I am proud that Time Magazine has honoured journalists this year. May we all become "better citizens."

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