My Views on the Role of Journalism

I have been a photojournalist for nearly three decades. To me, true photojournalism is the documentation of an event, or situation, with a camera and accompanying text. The excitement of the story and the ability to bring new light to little-known accounts of our everyday life fuels this desire in me. However, the adrenaline rush of covering breaking news is the ultimate buzz, especially if there is danger or risk involved, such as in a riot situation, or war zone coverage. The road of freelance journalism and the ability to keep the rent paid and food on the table has been a long and rocky relationship for me personally, as I tend not to run with the herd, or the in-crowd.

The face of journalism is rapidly changing. As the media giants merge, and become more powerful, the independent voice is being reduced. Many media organizations are now used (and perhaps always have been) as podiums for special interest groups, politicians and lobbyists. Should we lose the independent voice in media, we will lose the medium that we once respected and relied upon.

Our job, as journalists, is to inform the uninformed and become a bridge to the truth; a real accounting. It is part of the advancement of our civilization, and the fewer independent voices it has, the further we regress towards ignorance. The journalist is not the news – he/she is just the messenger, and this should never be forgotten. A good journalist has a great thirst for life, and an even greater thirst to inform by the use of the truth and exposure.

Robert J. Galbraith Montreal 2013