When journalists are caught between two smoking guns, it is not business as usual. We are forced to take risk to seek real answers to unanswered questions. Today, we are caught between opposing camps and threatened for doing our job and speaking the truth. Ours is a profession that has direct impact on the citizenry and the society at large – society looks up to us.
In times of war like now, many find it difficult to differentiate between news and propaganda. The journalist is not on any side, the journalist is on the side of the truth.
In times of crisis like now, Andrew Vachss says journalism is what maintains democracy. It’s the force for progressive social change. Like Christiane Amanpour, I believe that good journalism, good television, can make our world a better place; a world without hate but love.
Mary Pilon captures the role of the journalists in rather fine prose: “Journalism isn’t about how smart you are. It’s not about where you’re from. It’s not about who you know or how clever your questions are. And thank God for that. It’s about your ability to embrace change and uncertainty. It’s about being fearless personally and professionally.”
We have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty. Threats to freedom of speech, writing and action, though often trivial is about the greatest threat in human existence. Journalism is not activism and should not be seen as a crime. The essential job is to get people to recognise war propaganda when they see it, and to make informed decisions.
*We don’t go into journalism to be popular. It is our job to seek the truth and put constant pressure on our leaders until we get answers.