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article imageOp-Ed: What do journalists make? Digital Journal has the answer

By Jack Derricourt     Dec 30, 2016 in Politics
The relationship between the public and the media has never been more fraught. Journalism and punditry have, in many ways, shown themselves to be out of touch with the reality that people faced this year.
The rise of fake news and state-sponsored social media propaganda have also de-legitimized the role that news stories play in our daily lives. While demagogues and radical views go unchecked in many mainstream media venues, digital-first media like Digital Journal continue to drive an enigmatic shift into the future that readers so desperately want. There are also signs that conventional journalism, however bogged down, is ready to meet the challenge of the times: the Panama Papers story affected millions of people, and reshaped governments and legislation the world over. Crowdfunded investigative journalism projects are also becoming more commonplace, allowing publications to follow up on the concerns of their readers.
A meditation on journalists and their work is something we could all use a bit of as we start to reevaluate the role of the media in our lives ahead of 2017. Former editor and current poet David Silverberg was kind enough to let us share his clear-headed piece on the subject.
Former Digital Journal editor and current poet David Silverberg
Former Digital Journal editor and current poet David Silverberg
Digital Journal

WHAT JOURNALISTS MAKE

By David Silverberg

 

We’re eating lunch on College Street and he says to me,
“Y’know what I realized, a journalist writes about things
he only wishes he could do himself.”

 

I don’t know why he tells me this
And his statement annoys me
So I picture his face covered in pig’s blood
like Sissy Spacek in the movie Carrie.
But that doesn’t help as much as I thought it would

 

He opens his bloody mouth and spits the final straw,
“So really, Dave, really, what do journalists make?”

 

Before my teeth can shut its gate and be tactful
My tongue spasms
And I cry out:

 

”What do journalists make?
We make sure you know the difference between justice and justification
We make sense of all the politricks clogging your arteries
And we make good on promises to hold accountable kings sitting pretty on thrones
And you want to know what a journalist makes?

 

We make the truth a reality in a swamp of fake news
And then we make fools out of presidents, cowards out of police chiefs
And schools of thought out of kindergarten chaos.

 

We make sure the world reaches your fingertips, your eyeballs, your ears
Because no one else will do it if we don’t.
We’re curiosity branded with responsibility.
And it’s a painful job, and we don’t know if 1000 words
can profile a human soul
like a photo can capture a weekend at your friend’s cottage…….

 

But we still do it.
Because we’re troubadors, wall flowers at an orgy
and crazy as heck to file a one-page story from War Zone flavour of the month.
We make love five minutes before deadline…
and we still make deadline

 

Journalists make Aleppo a story, make Snowden a hero unlike any other
We make columns of text actually worth reading.
We make history by being its stenographer
We make good on our word, as well as we can

 

And I know we make hype, and I know we make you scared,
but some editors still plaster rhyming couplets over their desktops:
“If it bleeds, it leads”

 

If blood is thicker than newsprint, who will edit those tragedies?
It’s a question we can’t claim to answer in one hour of sitting at home row

 

Instead, we make a wish that our final period will become a seed of action
Planted deep inside someone’s belly,
And when that happens, we like to think make a difference.
However small.

 

We make you laugh, we make you pissed off, we make you feel something.
So tell me, buddy, what do you make?”
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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