I was all prepared to give you guys the second installment of my Black Music Month special until I checked my e-mail this morning.
OK, so here's the situation, you guys know I am a reporter, right?
Because of the job, I am supposed to appear unbiased and nonpartisan and for the lack of a better term, drone-like when it comes to controversial and political issues. This is so the public does not assume that because you feel a certain way that you will intentionally leave things out, not report them or slant the story or whatever.
I pride myself on being able to get in and get all angles of the story so that it is not biased or slanted one way or the other. I also pride myself on the fact that I can think for myself and I don't really care what anyone else thinks of me or how I live my life.
The problem is, a lot of my colleagues and counterparts have adopted the, "I'm not saying it," mantra and I for one think that's unfair. I don't think we should have to have this "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy as it relates to our political views.
As far as I'm concerned, one's political beliefs should be considered a part of who they are.
Journalism is the only professional field where people are constantly asked, told and made to check who they are at the door. This, to me, seems like some folks think that my counterparts and I are too stupid and/or lazy to separate who we are from what we do. I resent that.
Journalism is what I do, it is not who I am. People who identify themselves by what they do, i.e. their profession, don't, in my opinion, have very much going on for themselves outside of work.
Does this mean I look down on or have disdain for those folks who identify themselves as their professions? No. I am simply saying don't label me as such. Don't try to put me in a box with these people who live what they do. In fact, I try hard to get as far away from what I do when I'm not working.
It's funny to me, when people ask me why I became a reporter or a journalist, I always say, "it's the only way I could write and get a steady pay check." I'm a writer by nature but I am a reporter/journalist by trade.
My main goal/dream is to become a syndicated columnist to pay my bills and be able to sit in a remote location somewhere near a beach and crank out wonderful screenplays. Since I have only five years in this business and I am nowhere near ready to handle a syndicated column, I have to pay my dues just like everyone else.
I don't however consider abandoning my beliefs, values and opinions on issues I don't report, a part of paying dues.
What do ya'll think? Be honest.
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