It’s Time for Journalists to Be Honest

CAPS — I am a graduate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York with a degree in Communications Arts and Sciences. I considered several possible careers when I graduated, including journalism. Journalists are supposed to be “fact finders.”

As things turned out, I was given the opportunity to become a federal agent and found that this job would satisfy many of my professional goals and also bears similarity to the job of a journalist in that special agents are investigators and fact finders.

The difference between a federal agent and a journalist is that the goal for the journalist, who gathers facts and evidence, is to write a story to inform, educate and sometimes drive change. An agent also gathers facts and evidence, but the goal is possibly an indictment and an arrest warrant that leads to the conviction of a criminal and/or dismantles a criminal organization.

National security and public safety may hang in the balance where efforts of federal agents are concerned. Where journalists are concerned, the results may be no less significant. A democracy requires a well-informed electorate. Indeed, the Founding Fathers understood the extreme importance of journalism, and, consequently, the only profession specifically protected by the Bill of Rights is that of the journalists as duly noted in the First Amendment.

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