WHAT IS A JOURNALIST FOR ? (A QUOI SERT UN JOURNALISTE ?)
par Ken Dilanian, Reporter au quotidien USA Today
For me, that’s always been an easy question, and it starts with the aphorism attributed to Irish-American writer Finley Peter Dunne. He wrote that "the job of the newspaper is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." I also like Napoleon Bonaparte’s comment that "a journalist is a grumbler, a censurer, a giver of advice, a regent of sovereigns, a tutor of nations." I grew up with Watergate, when the world’s most powerful leader was exposed as a criminal by a couple of young newspaper reporters. That’s also the period Walker Cronkite told the American people the Vietnam War was a lost cause. For me, journalism has always been about holding people in power, particularly in government, accountable for their actions. And that involves telling stories they don’t want told, whether about city social workers failing to protect abused children or elected representatives doing favors for their wealthy campaign donors at the expense of the public interest. Whatever form such journalism takes, whether in print, on television, on the web or on an iphone, it will always be necssary and relevant.