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Until a few minutes ago, I didn’t know there was such a thing as “The Journalist’s Creed.” I didn’t go to J-school, though—-maybe there you have to recite it before classes start? Anyway, now apparently the Reynolds Journalism Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism is journaling up whether the venerable creed requires an update. Here it is in its current form:
I believe in the profession of journalism.
I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.
I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism.
I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.
I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.
I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocketbook is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.
I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.
I believe that the journalism which succeeds best—and best deserves success—fears God and honors Man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance and, as far as law and honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.
And here is what I propose to follow the em dash in the last graf: JESUS CHRIST WE ARE SO FREAKING SCREWED OH GOD WHY DIDN’T I GO TO LAW SCHOOL LIKE MY BROTHER?
Then there should probably be something that represents the sobs that follow your daily look at JournalismJobs.com and wondering whether going for the night editor gig at the Killeen Daily Herald would be such a bad move given the state of things. Now that would be fearing God!
Then the words DARKNESS! OH MY LORD THE DARKNESS! And…scene.