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Editorial: Journalism in a new age and a call for a warrior to run our public schools
Posted By Jim Hagerty On March 1, 2011 @ 3:10 pm In Happening Now | 1 Comment
Editor’s Note: This editorial piece represents the opinion of its author, Staff Writer Jim Hagerty, and does not, necessarily, express the opinion of The Rock River Times as a whole.
By Jim Hagerty
Freedom of the press initially applied to anybody who owned one. Today, that freedom is still intact.
Millions of smartphones, laptops and other devices are the presses of a new generation–one illuminated by a growing social network.
Whether cavalier and gonzo efforts to disseminate information can be called journalism is another debate, the voice of the information generation is a loud one. Therein lies a monster–half punditry, half brass.
The claim that the Internet has changed journalism is incorrect. The Web hasn’t changed our once blue-collar without the sweat industry. It has reinvented it.
Today, like no other time in the history of mankind, has there been a greater call for transparency by the entities journalists are sworn to keep in check.
Reporters of news now have a responsibility that, just more than ten years ago, did not exist. Bloggers, tweeters, Facebookers and stumblers abound, sharing links, pics, reports and gaffes–all in the name of information. Our back yards, kitchens and bedrooms are public forums.
What a single tweet can do in seconds today, once took a packed meeting room, public address system and press core armed with tape recorders and the bulk of broadcast to accomplish in hours–even days.
If facts aren’t checked, figures re-calculated and images debunked, the credibility of journalism drowns in a bottomless lake of fire. No longer are journalists keepers of information crypts. We are warriors fighting for a cause much bigger than ourselves.
While we still serve a king called truth, locating his throne is a daily battle. We fight the agencies we swear to watch over. Our king must never be kidnapped and hid away among mirrored clouds too thick to navigate without a mask.
In Rockford, our king–your king–is in danger. Kingdom walls are threatened by a trend of omission and lack of transparency a public school system, shamed by failure and fueled by rage, has set.
When the information monster, half punditry, half brass, wants to be fed, it knows nothing else. It demands the food of transparency normally provided wherever the Web will take it. When nourishment is denied, the new journalistic guard must intervene.
Our fellow warriors must be kept alive to protect our king.
As seen last week at the Feb. 22 meeting of the Rockford Board of Education, this community is capable of strapping on a collective suit of armor. Armor is a must to withstand required blows before drawing a sword to slay a worthy opponent.
The true threat to our kingdom isn’t a $50 million budget deficit, or closure of eight schools. Our true threat is an ideology–one of tyranny, sociopathic agendas and secret sessions, where iniquities dance in the dark.
We, as journalists, will continue to bring those iniquities to the light, where there are no shadows.
It’s information the new generation demands. Nothing more–nothing less, it charges. This generation isn’t interested when our leaders cry foul, racism or victim. In fact, the title is not reserved for those who do. Our leaders must be warriors.
The people of Rockford are calling for and deserve a public school chief who is a warrior and has a proven track record one wears in the form of scars, dents and controlled magnetism.
A warrior knows boundaries–how to set them and how to respect them. A warrior is a fighter interested only in drawing his sword against a worthy adversary. He’s never a victim. He scoffs manipulation.
A warrior stands for truth and would never allow fellow warriors–or opponents—to die without dignity or in name of anyone but his king.
All kings and queens were once warriors, Dr. Sheffield.
Article printed from The Rock River Times: http://rockrivertimes.com
URL to article: http://rockrivertimes.com/2011/03/01/editorial-journalism-in-a-new-age-and-a-call-for-a-warrior-to-run-our-public-schools/
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