When I decided to change my major to journalism, Daddy was mad enough to spit. He did not understand why I wouldn’t want to “pursue law, clean teeth for a living… or you know, have a respectable career. ”
He, like many other people, tends to be intolerant – or at least ambivalent – when it comes to The Media.
This is why, during my news gathering days, I was called more names than I could possibly list. (Some of my favorites were: ambulance chaser, liberal media @sshole, tragedy exploiter, scandal maker, pot-stirrer, rag-pusher and the all time local best: one of those no-count nosy summab*tches.
The experience taught me three basic things.
(1) Up North, if the news is ugly, embarrassing or will upset somebody’s Mother, folks wince upon the arrival of The Press and clam-up.
(2) Down South, if the news is ugly, embarrassing, wrong or will upset somebody’s mother, folks will tell you and anyone else everything they know – then some. But they dang well expect you to keep it to yourself as a matter of gentility.
(3.) Most citizens take the media for granted and undervalue the role journalism plays in our society.
You know, our government is much like a child we, the Nation, created, birthed and are trying to raise. It stands to reason when left unattended, all hell could break loose. Likewise, if things are too quiet, it probably means something foul is afoot.
Were it not for the watchful eye of the media, there are many things we’d never know.
So, as far as jobs go, serving as the Guardians of Good Government is not a honorable as oh… most type of lawyering (sarcasm intended) but it is a fairly respectable field too, don’t you think?