By Teodrose Fikremariam
Source: Ghion Journal
Let me share with you what I have been contemplating for two weeks. You see, I’ve always been hesitant about calling myself a journalist. Why? Because I treat journalism with utmost respect and reverence; a free press is the only thing that stands between freedom and tyranny. This is not theory, this is a reality I experienced first-hand as my family and I were forced to flee my birthplace Ethiopia in 1982. Journalism is an honorable profession, it’s a calling that requires dedication and the tenacity to always seek truth at all costs.
This spirit of muckraking has been bled out by a corporate culture that seeks profits at the cost of humanity. A fact that will be made painfully clear tomorrow evening as a bunch of corporate journalists gather at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner to party it up and get drunk with the very people they are supposed to be keeping tabs on. I’ve always felt that my missives were not in keeping with the true tenets of journalism. I do not have the means and the wherewithal to hit the streets to uncover malfeasance and to root out corruption. To this end, I saw myself more as an observer providing analysis through derivative.
About a month ago, upon finding out that David Sirota was exiting the “fourth estate” to join Bernie Sanders, I took him to task for dishonoring the very essence of what it means to be a journalist. I was pretty harsh in my condemnation; he spent years vilifying Bernie’s opponents without laying a glove on his favored politician only to quit being a reporter and become a hired mouthpiece of Vermont’s senior Senator. I called him, rightly, a political operative who wore a mask of a journalist for two years.
Which then brings me to my current predicament. Now I see why a very wise man once said “as you measure others, you too shall be measured accordingly”. I find myself going through cognitive dissonance at this moment, after spending eleven years trying to effect change from the outside, I realize that screaming alone only leads to sore throats and tired soles. Moreover, our politics is brilliantly deceptive, even those of us who know better than to believe in the fraudulence of the status quo nonetheless are triggered by “news” only to lose our agency amidst a sea of manufactured outrage and useless sensationalism that is pumped into the ether by the establishment.
This feeling of marginalization is worsened with each passing day, the minute that Julian Assange got…