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A journalist’s obligation is to provide citizens with the information they need to be free and self-governing, according to Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel’s The Elements of Journalism.
Citizens depend on media outlets to portray accurate accounts of what is going on in the world and, more importantly, within their own communities. This information is critical for people to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. The future of journalism depends on a journalist’s ability to find and present the truth.
There is a saying that there are three sides to a story, a personal side, the other person’s side, and the truth. Therefore getting at the truth may not be as simple as one may think. There is another saying that goes, in every lie, there is some truth. So, the truth can sometimes be intertwined with webs of lies or hyperbole like grains of sand mixed in a jar; one cannot decipher one from the other.
The journalist is heavily laden with being the guardian of truth. There can be no meeting of the mind if one cannot agree on what is real and fake.
As people receive news, they must be able to rest assured that they are receiving truthful information. It would be silly to dress in a heavy coat and don an umbrella if the meteorologist reported it would be 90 degrees with no chance of precipitation. Likewise, people should equally trust the news anchor that announces breakthroughs in medicine or technology.
The future also requires the end of all forms of discrimination, even within one’s own culture. The physical attributes and characteristics that make us different should be celebrated and loved instead of marginalized and hated. One should proudly display their dark skin, tight coils, full lips, and wide noses or whatever one’s characteristics are, simply because God said that what He created was ‘very good.’ Everyone was born without any say in the way they look. Yet, so much emphasis is placed upon what one cannot control instead of what one can control — the way one thinks and acts. As former President Roosevelt said, the comparison is the thief of joy. In the movie, The Wiz, starring the late great singer and entertainer Michael Jackson, viewers learned all too often the one who sets the standards for the masses typically hides behind curtains with a warped self-image and has the lowest self-esteem.
No one should be burdened with attempting to alter the reflection in the mirror to attain a preconceived standard set by someone who did not even create them. If there is an issue with an iPhone, a person does not contact Samsung for help.
A Bright Future
As long as journalists continue to find, present, and persevere truth, the future of journalism is bright. When journalists courageously speak truth to power, they help to maintain a solid foundation for democracy. Moreover, as long as people are boldly inclusive of all complexions, features, and differences so children and theirs will richly enjoy the future.
Journalism and journalist are essential tools in upholding democracy and are too valuable to the quality of life to fail.
Opinion News by Sheree Bynum
Edited by DiMarkco Chandler
Boston Consulting Group: For US Journalism, the Future is Brighter Than You Think; Neal Zuckerman; by Alannah Sheerin, and Anna Green
The Hoya: Retired Washington Post Editor Reflects On Future of Journalism
American Psychological Association: Discrimination: What it is, and how to cope
Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Robert’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Tim Dennell’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License