I Live for the Written Word & I Won’t Sit Down
When I first joined the field of journalism more than three decades ago, my love for the profession was palpable. I ate, breathed and lived for the written word, for storytelling, for the opportunity to interview a person I’d never met.
Today, I still feel the same way about the profession of journalism as I did as an idealistic rookie. The difference is that today things have changed.
Today journalists are openly abused from the highest office in the land to the man on the street. Our integrity is called into question. So are our ethics. But you know as well as I do that most journalists uphold the highest standards of the universal code of ethics. Every day my organization, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), strives to support journalists as they attempt to navigate a changing business model amid verbal, and sometimes physical, attacks.
President Donald Trump has not only called the media “the enemy of the American people,” but he has also said called journalists the “most dishonest” people and has suggested that some broadcast licenses be revoked and has himself revoked White House credentials for some reporters. He has publicly berated journalists because of their questions, or their looks, or the company they work for. He has told them to sit down and to shut up.
His actions are not in the spirit of the principles on which our nation was built.
According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, so far this year, seven journalists have been arrested, 41 have been attacked, 19 have been subpoenaed and five have been murdered.
Not only does SPJ fight for press freedom by lobbying Congress and signing on to amicus briefs, but it promotes journalistic best practices through its Code of Ethics, which has been adopted in some form by journalists and journalism groups around the world.
But these activities take manpower – and money. By providing a financial contribution, you support everything we do. You also add your name to the roll of those who support a free and independent press. A contribution is a nod for democracy.
It’s simple, go to spj.org and hit the DONATE button. No donation is too small.
As SPJ enters its 110th year and during this season of giving, I hope that you will join me in supporting journalism and the next generation of journalists who, like me at their age, could think of nothing more noble than being a journalist.
Thank you in advance for your contribution.
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