Journalists are informants, watchdogs, and storytellers. They report the news people want to hear, and too often, news they do not. They are the primary connection to the world outside our windows, and it is through their reporting that we see the world.
If information is freedom, journalists hold the key to liberty.
Reporters may seem old fashioned, but the values they stand for are not. Hacking through the Brier Patch of tribalism and clearing the underbrush of chicanery is vital to maintaining a free and informed citizenry, and it is the responsibility of reporters to shepherd a clear path forward. Our cultural landscape is littered with the grim consequences of failure to heed history; it is the reporter who, by sheer grit and determination, exposes the recurring malevolent forces swirling around us in ferocious fury every single day.
Their work is the written word. It has survived the chops and changes of time longer than any other substance. What was yesterday a cornfield is now a planned community, once vibrant cities are now ruins hawked for their antiquity, but the written word lives on.
Alarmingly, a few people have become so distracted by ceaseless chatter and their own intellectual negligence that they have succumbed to the regrettable notion that fact is somehow negotiable. Although it is all but inconceivable that the reality of truth needs defending, it does. And, it is journalists who are charged with preserving the sanctity of language by combining old words in new orders so that they survive, so that they create beauty, so that they tell and preserve the truth — for the test of truth is the length of life.
For many, this dedication to the truth, to providing clarity to life, comes with tragic consequence – the loss of life itself. Increasingly we read of reporters being kidnapped, jailed and or, as in the case of Jamal Khashoggi, savagely murdered in a lubberly attempt to suppress the truth.
Although corrupt nations and multi-national interests rail against a thorough investigation, we can take solace in these prophetic words from 1596.
“Truth will come to light; murder cannot be hid long; a man’s son may, but at the length, truth will out.”
(The Merchant of Venice, Wm. Shakespeare ).
The slings and arrows of time will forever rain down on us. Immovable objects will block our way, and many an unseen event will change the course of our life as swiftly as water submits to gravity’s creeks and streams.
So, rise up this morning, smile with the rising sun. There will always be a cadre of stalwart principled people working on your behalf to present to you the stories of today, and risking their lives to shape a better tomorrow.
The most important holiday in the U.S. is quickly approaching. Now would be an excellent time to write a note to your favorite news sources expressing your support for a vigorous and free press.