Role of the Journalist

Why do journalists do what we do? Maybe that is like asking why did the chicken cross the road? There can be many answers. SO, the question becomes why do I do what I do as a journalist?

I think the answer for me started as a photographer when I started to ask why I was a photographer. My answer was that I was the eyes of those who could not be there. Today, I shot pictures of the tearing down of the Haile Goldmine Playground equipment. I shot with the awareness that many could not be there to see it first hand. My pictures would have to serve as their look at it.

As I began writing sports stories for the Lancaster News for Andrew Jackson Volunteers, I felt that same responsibility. I was the witness for those who could not be there. My basic belief of what is my job as a journalist, to be a neutral witness to life events.

I watch the news channels and cringe. They are not so much being witnesses, but shapers and informers. The agenda is set, and they pump out the data and stories for consumption.

One of the corollaries to my basic belief is that I want to provide information so you can make decisions in your day to day life. For example, if you had been driving near Andrew Jackson High School yesterday morning or about to head there, the story about the wreck could help you plan your route and order of daily activities.

In those two axioms, I find my purpose in reporting. I keep my own thoughts and ideas to myself. Maybe from time to time, I will share personal thoughts in the editor’s thoughts column.

Categories: Editor Thoughts

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