A journalist’s path in life

Growing up, even during my college years, I always wondered what my part in life would be. Would I be a big corporate executive, flying on a jet to meetings across the United States’ Or would I pursue my passion and be involved in wildlife or outdoor recreation’ God is the only one who knew that I would be settled in Brady working day in and day out as a newspaper man. Nobody on my side of the family has ever been in this line of work. On Holly’s side, however, the lineage is deep. I was never fortunate enough to get to know the late L.B. “Smitty” Smith. I have, however, been blessed with seven years of knowing his wonderful widow, Vivian, or “Nana” as I now know her. My biological grandparents are no longer alive, but I still have a grandma. She is a joy to be around and still acts like a grandma. She is not afraid to offer her two cents whenever she sees fit. For years before I was even in the picture, she played an integral role in the daily workings here at the newspaper. Her column “Just Visiting” was a favorite for many current and former Bradyites. As a business major in college, I never suspected that one day I would be a journalist. My knowledge of most journalists was the liberal tree-huggers who did just about everything I believe to be wrong with today’s media. Never would I even dream that I too would one day be a journalist. By definition, that is what I am. I work each day to provide information via mass media to anyone interested in Brady. Technology has expanded our readership tenfold. Not only do we have several thousand subscribers, we average more than 6,000 hits each week on our web site. Those readers come from all over, including international readers from several different continents. The stories I know of Smitty have been nothing but the epitome of how to be a journalist. He passed it on to his son and each day, there are still questions I have for Larry on the proper journalistic way to do things. I might not know every detail of professional journalism, but I am learning. I will never be perfect, but I strive to publish a reputable and factual edition each week. If I make a mistake, I am the first to admit and correct it. Larry told me something several years ago that has stuck with me ever since. Each time we print an edition, we are adding another page to a history book. How true that statement is. He also told me something his father told him’there is no such thing as a perfect paper. I am glad such a newsman as Smitty said that, because if he realized that fact, then that takes an immense amount of pressure off of my shoulders. We do an okay job, but we can always do better. When it all comes down to it, a column that a former journalism professor penned years ago is worthy of republication. It speaks the philosophy I am learning to follow and striving to achieve. I guess now that I am a “real” newspaper man, these words mean something more than they might have not too long ago. With this week being national newspaper week, it is a fitting description of what this newspaper stands for in this community.’ JS The Journalist’s Creed By Walter Williams Dean, School of Journalism University of Missouri 1908-1935 I believe in the profession of journalism. I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust. I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy, and fairness, are fundamental to good journalism. I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true. 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 pocketbook 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. I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service. I believe that the journalism which succeeds best’and best deserves success’fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and, as far as law and honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.

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