Dare to Speak

I am no journalist.  Simply, a blogger.  A student with a laptop, a man with an opinion.  You don’t have to like my opinion.  You don’t have to like my articles or summaries or reviews.  You don’t have to like me.  But, respect my ambition as a citizen journalist.  What is a citizen journalist you might ask?  There is no proper definition.  I guess you can say they are contributors to society.  Or a subtractor.  It really depends on content.  A citizen journalist is no weaker than it’s professional peer, only “not as credible”.  I don’t like that.  Not all journalists are credible, you know.  Shocking.  How can one who writes as a profession write unprofessionally?  How can the honest media member be anything but that?  The answer – ironic as it may be – is credibility.

Media wants a story.  A story.  This doesn’t mean it cannot contain facts.  It also doesn’t define “facts”.  What is the fundamental purpose behind all things media related?  Three words, one question: can it sell?

But why should this matter?  People want the truth!  Or wait, do they?  Well, I guess they want to hear or read or see what they want.  More like what media wants them to hear or read or see.  Is there a difference anymore?  Have we been so tailored by a higher power we no longer know what we even want?  We believe because we are told to believe.  Face it: we love stories!  It’s in our nature.  Stories create feeling.  Stories prompt reaction.  Stories sell.

Credibility doesn’t hold the same meaning as it used to.  Journalists are required to be credible, yes, but within boundaries.  Media allows journalists to speak, but not speak their minds.  Journalists can tell the truth but maybe not the whole truth.  Maybe they leave something out at the instruction of their employers.  Maybe they withhold information because it won’t sell.  All to build “credibility”.

As a citizen journalist, I vow never to be dishonest or withhold information in order to conform with publishing norms.  Since I have no boss, this should be non-negotiable.  Even with an employer, writing to sell is not something to be proud of.  I’m going to remain credible by being credible.  It’s time all journalists do the same.

 

A co-writer and I are beginning a new blog site in coming months for honest writers looking to give voice to world issues silenced by what mainstream media deems important.  If you are interested in writing, contact me at officialjackmartin@gmail.com.

 

Image created by mrjackmartin

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