I’m a fan of the Toby McGuire Spider-Man movies. If you ever needed a reason to question my movie choices, you have found your ammo.
Film aside, I have a different point to make. Fairly early in the first movie Uncle Ben tells Peter that with great power comes great responsibility.
The duties of a journalist can be summed up with this statement. As a writer I have the power to influence your opinion. Not only does my writing intrigue you with the title and headline, but it gives you an angle from which to view someone or an issue.
Journalism gives you an informational background from which you form your opinion. In essence, I have the power to tell you what to think.
“I am deeply interested in the progress and elevation of journalism, having spent my life in that profession, regarding it as a noble profession and one of unequaled importance for its influence upon the minds and morals of the people.” -Joseph Pulitzer
I must be responsible with this power. I must make decisions not on the basis of my own beliefs, but on the information my reader needs to know. It seems like you would just sit down and write, but it takes effort and a conscious decision on what information is extraneous and what will move the audience to understanding.
Some journalists do just write, and that’s ok. The greater good that comes from journalism is achieved when writers are allowed to share the information they’ve experienced with their readers.
Charlie Hebdo may draw cartoons, and you may or may not agree with them. But to censor outlets such as this will prove to be a great disservice to the industry and readers.
Je Suis Charlie.