The World Press Freedom Day reminds me of the sad and ironic perceptions held by journalists of themselves in comparison to the general public’s perception of journalists. It is a day celebrated by journos, not our readers. People don’t praise us, don’t televise the event and tune in to watch the beautiful people in their gowns. We believe, as aspiring journalists, although a journalist may work for a private corporation our duty is not to them, but to the public. Sadly, the people we are dedicated to believe we must be being paid to be hated, but continue to distrust us anyway.
Some people may find it laughable that according to the MEAA, journalists must commit themselves to ‘honesty, fairness, independence and respect for the rights of others’. Is an ethical journalist an oxymoron I ask myself?
We believe we are the righteous citizens who have designated our lives to flying the flag of democracy and freedom, we are faithful followers of a deity of decency and truth.
So what grievous transgressions has our order committed that the public have deigned us worthy of the inner ring of hell. According to a Reader’s Digest poll journalists are 32nd on the 2009 Australia’s Most Trusted Professions. Not so bad, not so bad. Oh no wait… the list ends at 40. So we beat real estate agents, but that’s like beating con artistry if it were a profession. However we did not beat accountants, lawyers or locksmiths?! My word! Well, we must be using some bad ones if we are that poorly trusted.
Alas the pen truly must be mightier than the sword! And maybe we do stab people a little too hard with it. But isn’t it a good thing we are consistently puncturing egos and wounding hypocrites? Instead of crunching false numbers and defending scheming corporations.
Well, no matter what the public thinks of me while I strive to do what I think is right all I know is that I’m having a hell of a good time. And I know I can sleep soundly while we continue to beat politicians in a life-or-death Reader’s Digest poll.