The Truth Will Keep Us Free

Every morning, I fix a cup of coffee and read the newspaper.

I really like the paper, no matter if it’s the Courier-Journal, the Post-Dispatch or the New York Times. My first job was as a newspaper reporter.

But for almost 50 years, I've been a television journalist. And in retirement, I watch a lot of television news. And I'm concerned about the future of my profession.

In recent months I've heard the news media and its reporters called "the enemy." There are allegations of bias and something called "Fake News."

Let me tell you something: in half a century of working in American newsrooms, I have never heard a reporter or an editor plan to slant or "fake" a news story.

We're not here to benefit anyone or any political party.

In fact, if there's been a recurring theme, it's to make sure we get "both sides of the story." There has always been a serious effort to provide "balance" in whatever we cover.

But now some cable news channels, that never go dark, have produced a kind of hybrid advocacy journalism that takes one side or the other.

That is not us.

Most local news organizations like WHAS are grinding away, trying to accurately tell the story of American life every day.

Over the years, I've interviewed presidential candidates, governors and members of Congress with the clear understanding that I represented a free press, an essential part of the American Democracy. 

They weren't afraid to answer my questions. I wasn't afraid to ask. It's America. But now people have been encouraged to boo and berate us at public gatherings. Is this America? Reporters reviled and perhaps in danger?

It's an attempt to turn Americans against one of their own precious freedoms.

And so to my brothers and sisters at other television stations and networks. To my ink-stained friends at the daily newspapers. I implore you, do not be afraid!

You are the beacons of truth in the American experience. You are the light shining ahead as we travel the road of democratic choice.

So, do the story. Be fair. Be relentless in finding the truth. Because in a world of lies, "The Truth Will Keep Us Free."

-Gary Roedemeier, WHAS11 News
 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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