Journalism has lost its way. It’s a broken field. Trust in journalism is at an all-time low, and that’s bad for democracy. As Thomas Jefferson famously said, “If I had a choice between newspapers and no government, and government and no newspapers, I would choose newspapers.” How do we reform journalism, in every square inch?
The mission of good journalism is twofold: to give voice to the voiceless, and to hold the powerful accountable. Right now, too many journalists are ignoring the voiceless and giving voice to the powerful. There is a lot of star-gazing: covering celebrities from Capitol Hill to Hollywood, gawking over them, and not holding them to account. We know from human nature that the powerful, left unchecked, will take advantage of their power.
Christ himself provides a model for good journalism. He listened to the poor, cared for the sick, and spent time with the dying—all while calling out the Pharisees and Saducees for their hypocrisy. We may not be able to help the lame to walk. But by telling people’s stories, we give them a real voice—a voice to which others may hear and respond.
Journalism is not about collecting facts. It is about storytelling. It is a front-row ticket to the circus of life, to experience the world as it happens. It is a backstage pass to history – in which you write the first draft. You are not in a cubicle; the world is your cubicle.