I’d never thought my teacher’s assignment would haunt me again.
Well, one, at least. When my first journalism teacher asked us to recite Walter William’s “The Journalist’s Creed”, I did not know its purpose.
I thought I’d recite it just like any other recital piece: memorize it, perform it, then forget it. By performing it, as usual, I got a standing ovation because of my acting talent. But the purpose of this creed is not to be a declamation piece.
I only realized it after a year of being in broadcasting.
For the second time, I’ve encountered “hao shiao” or our term for fake media personnel.
It was only yesterday that I got to talk to some of them for the first time.
I’ve heard that hao shiao are not there to cover but to ask for favors and freebies from hosts who request for media coverages for events like a city’s foundation day or a national forum. As a complement, these hosts would give lunch or snacks to media men while we cover their events. However, some politicians dare to give more than that to media people. And that’s where the hao shiaos are for.
Yup, they come in IDs complete with an affliation, usually from print or radio. Others pretend as photographers. I sensed that it was dangerous to deal with them. They asked me if I can invite them to any media conference I know and they’d invite me everytime they got a scoop.
Here’s the strangest part: none of those who talked with me interviewed the personality I interviewed, except for one. Usually media people, when one interviews a prominent personality, they would push one another to join along the interview. That fella did stick with my team to ask questions but he has no recorder nor did take notes along!
That’s proof that they are not there to get a story, but was hoping to get favors from that personality.
It’s sad how they use the profession of journalism just to get what they want. This also got the real professionals in trouble, in which we’re falsely accused as fakes.
But I would admit I’ve just seen an overview of this profession’s tragic instance. As I thought about this instance, I thought of reviewing The Journalist’s Creed after years.
Now, I understand why we are made to memorize it.
In this way, the principle attached to this creed will stick to my mind and soon enough to my heart.
A journalist’s profession is a public service not a gold mine.
We should take heart to inform not to gain.
I am young and inexperienced but with the Lord, I pray that I am one of those to take broadcasting to its honest self, once more.
And I am here in this job to spread out facts, not to sensationalize or distort a personality.
And there’s so much more to learn from this profession.
I just hope I’ll always remember this creed with all my heart.
And I hope I won’t use it as a declamation piece again. 🙂
So, here’s the creed that I’m talking about…
The Journalist’s Creed by Walter Williams
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 responsibility, trustees for the public; that all acceptance of lesser service than the public service is a betrayal of this trust.
I believe that clear thinking, 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 pocket book 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 supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.
I believe that the journalism which succeeds the 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 the privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and as far as law, an 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