I apologise for my long silence. The few days’ illness turned into 2 weeks spent in bed. I’m re-establishing my rhythm.
This article summarizes my thoughts about reporting for countries and societies that have no interest in the truth, but rather confirmation for their own biases and opinions:
Covering wars for a polarized nation has destroyed the civic mission I once found in journalism. Why risk it all to get the facts for people who increasingly seem only to seek out the information they want and brand the stories and facts that don’t conform to their opinions as biased or inaccurate?
And without a higher purpose, what is a career as a reporter? It may count among the so-called “glamor jobs” sought after by recent graduates, but one careers website has listed newspaper reporting as the second worst job in America, based on factors such as stress, pay, and employment uncertainty; toiling as a janitor, dishwasher, or garbage collector all scored better. Even if you love the work, it’s hard not to get worn down by a job that sometimes requires you to risk life and limb for readers who wonder if maybe you suffer all the downsides and hazards just to support some hidden agenda.
Every day when I write or argue or think about Egypt, I wonder what is the point when even the most prominent activists are deflated and considering giving up. I’m coming to politics and journalism much later in life than most reporters;yet, I feel a lot of their same disillusionment, frustration, and futility.
I no longer call or consider myself a ‘revolutionary’ because I was never in the streets like others and I never fought on any of the frontlines: media, courts, social activism, so on. This feeling that I am not at all worthy to be called an activist came from reading Alaa’s open letter published yesterday.
What are we reporting for?