I’m in a business where the power of words rests at the edge of my finger tips everyday. Journalists, true journalists, don’t take an oath to use the power for good. We are not doctors and don’t have to promise to first do no harm. Journalists are people and that ethical streak in most of us comes from just being a human being.
It’s odd, however, to think that journalists have to walk a fine line between being human beings and being truth seekers and history recorders. As being part of the latter, our basic human instincts have to be fettered — speaking out, writing out, giving opinions.
But in world where a journalist and a blogger mean almost the same thing, where is that line now drawn? Or do we want it rewritten or defined–what is a journalist? what is a blogger?
I’ve thought about that question more and more since the beginning of newspaper’s dark days. As of now, I am a journalist, a writer, with a blog. Does it make me a blogger? And if I am, do I now have the right of the non-journalist to say my piece? I still work in a newsroom after all.
I think regardless of the label, my words are still powerful. My words are part of the discussion of human beings in 2009. And when they study us, whoever they maybe, they’ll come upon my blog as a snapshot into a once primitive time when people once wrote on things called computers to up date things called blogs.
What shall we tell them? What shall I write? What should be my burden when it comes to representing a time and place for future generations to understand?
Here goes: We lived in 2009 where instability was the only stability. We’re relearning what it’s like to live but some of us are having a difficult time learning that lesson. We were reckless with ourselves at one time but we’re fighting to come back from the brink of chaos. We don’t know yet if we’ll be successful but we’re trying and that’s all we can do.
The dreams of the collective whole are varied but the goal is the same–happiness, stability, tranquility. We want to live blanketed by few worries and more glories. We will achieve that but until then, we watch our words because they are power. They make you believe. Give you hope in the middle of darkness. Allows you to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Although some of us used words as weapons, there were some that used that power for good. Those people didn’t take oaths, or wear capes or tights. They didn’t live in comic books or in movies. They were mortals with great responsibilities. They were journalists and their words were more powerful than bullets, and brighter than a beacon.
They were here. They existed.