This I Believe

Scott - Vernon Hills, Illinois
Entered on May 2, 2007

I believe in keeping up the old adage of ethical journalism.

“Shhh….you shouldn’t say that.” If only I could keep count of how many times some one has uttered those words to me or a fellow writer. I know that certain things can be inappropriate, but in today’s happy go lucky, everybody feel good culture, the truth and freedoms of the press have been watered down.

As a writer, I long for the days of Bob Woodward, and Carl Bernstein. These were the two reporters for the Washington Post who broke the Watergate scandal wide open in the 70’s. They did it with ethics, morals, and the complete freedom under the 1st Amendment rights. This was back when writing and journalism were used for good. The mere power of the press can be shown through the fact that thanks to the research and reporting of two writers, a presidential regime crumbled when the story hit and caused Richard Nixon to resign.

In today’s culture, truth seeking has become a thing of the past. Seek truth, only if it makes everybody happy. We have taken journalism and made it something to satisfy our own needs instead of using it as a tool for information. Instead of using it for the betterment of the American people, we all flock to the newsstands to find out what beach Britney Spears went to last week, and what dress Angelina Jolie wore to the latest awards show.

Often times, you can look inside a certain newspaper and find nothing about what is going on around the country and the world. The reason being is that politics does not sell; sex and gossip do. We love to know what is happening in the life of some movie star we have never met more than what decisions congress is making that affect our everyday lives.

This is a cry out to the media of the 21st century; please fix things before the American public is so desensitized, they won’t know the difference between fact and fiction. Woodward and Bernstein took the 1st amendment and the power of journalism and used it for the betterment of the American people; we use it now to make money. Money has ruined almost every area of the world, and unless something is done, the power of the press will fall victim to the almighty dollar.