Never Stopped to Think About It That Way

It was December 12, 2001 when Shaun Michael Jex wrote an insightful piece that related to the sacrifices that foreign correspondents and journalists make to deliver their message. Shaun’s column was Literary Theory Explorations and the installment was titled “By Any Means Necessary.” It was a challenging read; it was a very good read. Shaun’s writings were not simple and superficial. They dug deep into the subject matter and challenged the reader to consider the subject from many aspects. It was a read that compelled some comment and mine was among four that were published.

Thanks for your words, Shaun. Your tribute is (by the examples you give) to news journalists. There are many types of journalists and we all go into the trenches in order to get the real, true story from ground zero. Our desire is to know the inner workings of the whatever and then tell it to others so that they may have some appreciation of the perspectives powering and driving the events. We put ourselves outside of the events. We are but onlookers empathizing and understanding and then sharing that understanding.

One of the highest tenets of being a journalist is telling the accurate story. Another of the highest tenets is that you see each person in their own esteem and look down on nor up to anyone. They are all equal. Therein lie some of the secrets of reporting the events – by getting the right information and reporting it accurately.

The free press and freedom of speech are very precious commodities that are in real jeopardy these days. Too many times meaningful information that can empower or exalt understanding is suppressed while the journalist is beaten to the back of the crowd or else their words suppressed and altered in order to make them more palatable and attractive, more appealing to the masses and flatter them into ignorance. Too often the true and accurate words are erased into oblivion because they offended those who did not want to know and desired to continue in the old, uninformed ways.

Our Muses command us to write. Therefore, we do not shrink away and never tell the story again. We re-emerge another day, sometimes in another place, because for us the story must be told.

Thank you for your tribute to the news journalists. Thank you for speaking.

We need to hold the banner high for good reporting standards and excellent journalism. It’s up to the journalists to tell the story with truth and accuracy (to the extent possible). Slanted reporting, suggestions about the meaning of words, excessive emphasis on certain points, commentary inserted into reporting instead of saved for the reporter’s opinion column are not part of fair reporting and fair comment. It’s difficult to understand the good reporting that’s supposed to be delivered when all that can be found are talking heads behind a desk who are trading jokes and gossip. It’s more as though we’ve come to having 24-hour reality shows instead of good news reportage.

The reading public needs information to independently form their own ideas about a subject. There is little room in a free society for yellow journalism, and biased, non-factual writing that attempts to pass itself off as hard news. There needs to be fact checking and proofreading that goes into delivering the story and a reporter who has an appreciation of the subject or knows how to gain the information in order to provide an informative piece.

The sacrifices of our journalists are important. They should be applauded for doing their jobs.


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