Independent Media, Fall 2016

Esprit de Corps

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Noun

eˌsprē də ˈkôr/

Definition: A sense of unity and of common interests and responsibilities, as developed among a group of persons closely associated in a task, cause, enterprise, etc.

Journalists, whether working for large mainstream media outlets or smaller independent publications, are all supposed to work towards the same goal: Truth. Journalists are supposed to have common interests and responsibilities like being the voice for the voiceless, fair in their reporting and serving the public to the best of their ability.

However, if there is such unity and supposed cooperation among all types of journalists, why are there instances where journalists attack each other?

In a time where cooperation and unity is needed the most, it seems that journalists are divided more than ever. For example, take Glenn Greenwald and Snowden. After Greenwald revealed the NSA surveillance debacle, other journalists, specifically Andrew Ross Sorkin, decided it was in his prerogative to accuse Greenwald of committing a crime and insinuating that he should be arrested. This blatant display of journalist v. journalist is exactly the kind of divide that is sending the press into a tailspin that’s heading for disaster.

Here is a video of Sorkin’s comments.

Sorkin seems to be assuming the role of the US Government, police officer and lawyer all at the same time when accusing Greenwald. Journalists are supposed to check the government, not operate for them. And because journalists are busy tearing other journalists down, MAJOR issues, like NSA surveillance and corruption is not adequately discussed in the mainstream press.

However, Sorkin is not the only journalist who acts in this way. David Gregory also questions the journalistic integrity of Greenwald and operates on the behalf of the government.

At 1:30, the exchange begins.

Cozying up with government officials and forgetting what it means to be a journalist is threatening the profession itself. It seems that journalists are often guided by money, prestige and power instead of the truth.

If journalists continue to belittle and degrade each other, the press is certainly doomed. What we need most is for journalists, regardless of employer, to cooperate with each other so that the highest-quality reporting and narratives can be developed for the public.

We need esprit de corps among journalists.

The Journalist’s Creed comes to mind:

“I belive in the profession of journalism. 

I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible.

I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocket book is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.

…”

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