Like all young children, I had many ideas about what I would be when I grew up – reporter (like April O’Neal!), doctor, lawyer, reporter (like Lois Lane!), business owner, politician, reporter, teacher. And I got older, I returned more often to the idea of the journalist. There could be no job more necessary, more honorable, than the journalist, risking life and limb if necessary, to obtain the truth and protect society from lies and corruption. My life may have gone another direction, but my opinion of journalists remains steadfast.
Journalists have been responsible for the corrections of many evils in this world, simply by bringing them to light. From Nellie Bly reporting on the horrid conditions at Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island, to the courageous men of the Munich Post, and on to Bob Woodard and Carl Bernstein reporting on Watergate, journalists have been foragers of truth. Without our news organizations, we would have never known the truth about Rodney King, the My Lai Massacre, or the horrors of the Gaza Strip.
Today, we lambast our journalists. We call them “Fake News.” We question their agendas.
Yet, today, our journalists are more important than ever before. In a world where information is made so readily available, often without verification or authentication, our journalists are essential. It is their training, their natural ability to dig through the grime and grease and find the truth lying under the layers of sewage, that we most need. It is our journalists who will keep us free.
When Superman landed on earth, he chose the guise of a reporter as the ultimate purveyor of truth. While Superman may be fictional, the courage and importance of the journalist is not. It is time we stop persecuting those who seek truth, no matter how inconvenient, and instead give them our thanks and support.