Journalism and Politics, or why journalism is important in the world
My first fearless proposal will be to praise good journalists that leave their own political preferences to inform the truth without slant. The world needs that kind of journalism, free of extremist points of view, and full of acknowledgement for the good and the bad things that happen in pollitics and with politicians, without helping the one party of their preference. Hard task this one. I know journalists are people with strong political points of view.
I remember once being in a city that had been blocked in each and every street, with stones, objects of all kinds, by extremists of the left wing on their first steps towards pushing a government out of of power. Little did we know at that time the kind of conspiracy for violence the whole country had been internationally involved in. In the case of this city, the problem was about water. People who used to build wells in the city wanted to throw out the international company in charge of building the new water dam, as well as the one running the water cooperative in charge of home conections. There was a lot of money involved; the farmers and well builders were with the left wing and followed the strict rule: No mercy with the right, no mercy until their vile government would fall. We know that leftists all over the world think they won't get anything if they don't shed blood. We also know how the rightists are, they want to keep all the money for themselves, they don't pay people to go on riots, and they always live well while the rest of the grassroots people live in bad salaries of hunger. Easy to guess which party to go for.
The problem is that journalists in general, but one woman in special, were responsible for letting the grassroots people think it was better to be most violent, that way they would get the right kind of attention they deserved. Their reports were so 'real', they showed people suffering (blood), getting hurt (more blood), but most of all, they incited violence every time they spoke. They used to say things like: 'There is no turning back, people are fighting for their rights and will not let anyone pass even if this means blood is to be shed. They are right.Their petitions are fair, and won't let the government be on their way'. Then when the rioters went to the local government's offices to burn them down they said: 'These people are fighting for their rights only, they cannot be held accountable for the fires and the killings, they are good people fighting for their rights'. And the public opinion was slanted to think the rightist were evil and the leftists were angels. Angels that killed people and burned everybody else's dreams. Like my dreams at that time.
I was visiting the city because my husband had just accepted a new job there, and had a year old baby in my arms who needed milk. We needed to eat, but there was no food. I went to the markets, walking through the turmoil, but no one would sell (not invite or give) a glass of boiled water for my baby's milk, or food for us, because we were from outside the city. But they weren't giving anything to anyone really. When we walked in the streets people would yell at us and say 'go home, don't come out'. Little did they know that we did not have a home to go to yet. Just a room that my husband had rented but the landlady was so mean that wouldn't let us boil water inside.
And there was this journalist. She kept yelling WAR! WAR! She named the riot 'THE WATER WAR'. I always thought the 20 people who died there didn't have to die. But when she was reporting the riot, live, she said, 'People are fighting for their rights, people can get killed anytime and in fact they will, this is a fair protest, they won't let go until they get their rights recognized and throw multinational companies away'. These words made all the difference in the world. 15 people got killed right away, and five more died later. But she cannot be held accountable for inspiring the people to kill, she was just doing her job, and making headlines all over.
I will never know if she got paid from one of the sides. But the kind of pain the whole city went through, how we suffered by not being able to eat for days, how my little baby could not get milk, how many people were stranded in bus stations without anything to eat and sleeping in the cold, all the children going through the pain of having to watch their parents fight each other in the streets, and the general harassment, that kind of pain, dearest readers, has no price. It has not been paid well enough. The journalist doesn't know she has been bargained.
I am not the person to tell anyone if the right or the left wings of politics are good. That is something personal. As for me, I am not a politician. To be truthful I just started to write because I have hushed for too long. I am a citizen who has been in the middle of different war crisis in both South and Central America, and has suffered the personal lose of one sibling due to extremists riots in the country.The leftist say I am rich and I don't deserve to speak up because I only represent what should be erased: inequality. The rightists say I cannot talk because I have not been educated enough and I don't represent anyone, as I am a toy in the hands of the leftists, besides being poor.
I am tired of the left wingers thinking they have the right to impose their way through violence. I am tired of the rightists thinking they have the right to take away all the money, using violence if they can. And I am tired of journalists who don't see the importance of their work clearly enough and put their tongues to work for arousing violence. None of this is right.
Journalism is important because it creates new waves of public opinion in the world. This time, I want to assure them the right and the left are equally violent, and they should not help any of them. They should stand up for peace, by changing the tone of their dialogue to a non violent one. This will not sell so many newspapers, but their spirits will be in peace. The new wave of opinion that we must create is in favor of non violent behavior, to create and re-create it over and over again. Until we achieve the change we desperately need.