I came across this crescendo of a passage at the end of a highly critical piece on the state of journalism in October's The Atlantic called "The Story Behind The Story". The overarching message of the piece (which is a worthy read) delivers some tough truth syrup to swallow, but Mark Bowden's finale inspired me, and I hope will do the same for my hard-working colleagues across Missouri, still proud to call themselves journalists:
Mark Bowden, The Atlantic:
"A reporter who thinks and speaks for himself, whose preeminent goal is providing deeper understanding, aspires even in political argument to persuade, which requires at the very least being seen as fair-minded and trustworthy by those -- and this is key -- who are inclined to disagree with him. The honest, disinterested voice of a true journalist carries an authority that no self-branded liberal or conservative can have. 'For a country to have a great writer is like having another government," Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote. Journalism, done right, is enormously powerful precisely because it does not seek power. It seeks truth. Those who forsake it to shill for a product or a candidate or a party or an ideology diminish their own power. They are missing the most joyful part of the job."