Seventy-one have been killed this year. Another 826 were arrested, 87 more kidnapped, and 2,160 threatened or attacked. These are journalists, men and women separated from you and me mostly by their place of employment.
Those sobering statistics were released this week by an international organization called Reporters Without Borders. Not surprisingly, Syria, Pakistan and Somalia are among the most dangerous places to bear a reporter’s notebook and a pen. Those of us toiling away in lesser known hotspots have also been known to feel threatened or worse.
Meanwhile, we hear that our readers trust us less and consider more of us to be bottom feeders than ever before.
That’s unfortunate. I like journalists. I venture to say we are better educated than the average guy on the street, we are more committed to our professions and I know we tell better stories. We’re readers, we question authority, we seek out new technologies, we root for the underdog, we work hard and at all hours. The truth is our north star and we readily correct our errors. …
I would tell my own daughter she could do worse than to marry a man with conviction, who believes in democracy, who isn’t afraid to put his name to his opinions – a man works for something other than simply one more buck.
Christmas is days away, my friends. I know many of you have been working too hard. You’ve sacrificed time with your family. The newshole is bigger and your sources have vanished for the holidays. Take solace that your life’s work has meaning and that you are part of a proud, honorable profession.
Merry Christmas. Happy holidays. Know that you are appreciated.