Saw this in an ad for The Dallas Morning News on the back of the Columbia Journalism Review today. Figured I’d pass it along.
Hail the ink-stained wretches. The reporters, those tireless tradesmen , who claw at the TRUTH buried under the soundbites, who sweat not from SPOTLIGHTS, but deadlines, who devote their lives to the ENDLESS TASK OF PUSHING and PUSHING and PUSHING, not just sources, but understanding; not just for WHO and WHAT, but for WHY, wrist-deep in raw fact and quick-scribbled INSIGHT. They work for the NEWS, but answer to the TRUTH.
It’s strange, yes, to draw inspiration from the back page of an issue that includes accounts of what it’s like to report and file stories in the journalist’s nightmare that is Sierra Leone and the Wonderland-esque North Korea, among other gems. But it stuck with me all day.
No word on the origin of the quote, by the way. Although while scouring Google I came across a few other zingers on the Wikiquote for “journalism.” Like:
Never forget that if you don’t hit a newspaper reader between the eyes with your first sentence, there is no need of writing a second one.
I suppose, in the end, we journalists try – or should try – to be the first impartial witnesses of history. If we have any reason for our existence, the least must be our ability to report history as it happens so that no one can say: “We didn’t know – no one told us.”