On Journalism 3
If I had a nickel for every time I heard the term “liberal media”, I could buy a cup of fair trade organic bird-friendly coffee every day for a year. But I don’t drink coffee. Never acquired a taste for it, I guess.
If I had a quarter for every time I heard the term “liberal media”, I could hire Susan Sarandon and George Clooney as leads in my new film. But I produce news stories, not movies.
If I had a dollar for every time I heard the term “liberal media”, I could buy Ralph Nader.
Everybody has their price, right?
It’s not about the money.
Truth is, we here in the “liberal media” don’t make all that much money. It’s a common topic of conservation among us journalists. Why do we do it? It’s not for the pay. Why don’t we just ditch this profession for something more lucrative, like…well…anything else?
My answer to that is: because I like what I do, and I believe in what I do…
I love taking “pretty pictures” in video – of people at work and at play, of wildlife and landscapes, of color and light and texture, of anything that moves and doesn’t move. I’m an artist, and artists like that kind of stuff.
But journalists are also part scientist. They apply their observational skills to the world around, and then report to you the viewer what it is they see – kind of like the conclusion of a scientific research study.
It is this second component that defines the journalist. The press has an important job to do. It is our responsibility to keep our eyes open to that active observation, to shine a light on injustice, corruption, and absurdity.
Injustice, corruption, and absurdity don’t like light. They prefer the shadows, where the public eye can’t see quite so well.
Whenever I hear the term “liberal media” an alarm goes off in my scientific mind. It’s telling me that somebody is nervous about what I do. That they’re not pleased to have me “poking around”. That I’m not welcome to have a look around. That light is troublesome.
People who are uncomfortable with truth and reason seem to enjoy railing against a press that “doesn’t see things the way that they do”. But anybody who dismisses me as biased is selling me short. I’m a reasonable person, and there’s nothing I require more than all of the facts. After that, it’s up to me to produce a story that – being the reasonable and analytical and feeling being that I am – makes sense of it all.
We here in TV are not, as a whole Democrat or Republican, right or left-leaning. We are just curious people who tote pens and paper and cameras and microphones and, as it were, big dark-busting flashlights.
We’re “The Liberal Media”, but only to those who don’t like having us around.
Posted under Artist? Scientist? Philosopher? Camera Guy?
This post was written by sbetchkal on June 21, 2010