Journalists and the heartbreaking trade [Archives:2003/663/Opinion]

August 28 2003

Ismail Al-Ghabiri
Throughout the years, Journalism has been given many names and titles describing its value and power in societies. Ironically, others call it “her majesty” and the “Fourth Estate” whereas those involved -being the journalists- call it “Troubles Job” and their life as being on the hot-wire always in risk.
Whatever the description may be, it is an agreed fact that behind every issue of any newspaper or magazine there are giant efforts by a team of journalists and media workers behind the scene. Ancient philosophers used to say: “A journalist is the historian of the moment”. Quite truly especially that journalists integrate with societies and bring out their worries and concerns as well as to inform and educate them. This is because a journalist is considered the linking point between people and leaderships and the agent of change that would influence public's opinions.
However, a dreadful thing that happens to most journalists and kills their enthusiasm and eagerness to deliver is the routine and the bureaucratic procedures that he has to go through every day. Yet all vanishes when the outcome of an effort is seen and felt through the feedback and response of the readers. Because that means at the end of the day, he managed to reach out for the people and succeeded in delivering a message. Perhaps the best joy of a journalist is when he sees his articles being discussed and debated by readers. It gives a massive drive to journalists that someone is reading, thinking about and anticipating what they write.
But if a comparison is made regarding a journalist's life in our country and that in the developed world we would see how oppressed a journalist is here. Not only that they hardly make both ends meet and struggling to live with all those bills to pay but also the oppression career wise and very little respect he receives. Even those who are famous and have become popular among readers, because at the end of the day you can't eat praises and you can't pay your bills with readers applaud.
Journalists have to live in better circumstances, it is vital that they receive better treatment because of the importance and significance of their job. The journalists syndicate and the ministry of information and all concerned authorities should do something about this if they really want this country to develop. Otherwise you would find many of the active and honest journalists switch to another industry or find twisted means of earning a living in their own jobs through weightless and unconstructive writings.
Journalism is a special trade that combines art, science, creativity and hard work together. If the a suitable environment is not provided then all this would become a mess and a journalist would lose track in his career while in search for something to eat instead of something to deliver. Take care of yourselves by taking care of your journalism, and as they say: “if you want to see how a country is doing, take a look at how their media are”.