I have always wanted to ask this question in a national
forum to see if I can make sense of it. I may not be as articulate as some of
you reading this so I apologize if my openness comes across wrong but I want to
see if I can understand something.
Why is it that journalists feel they need to be the first to
bring a news story to the public? Even if it is not accurate, the need to be ‘first’
appears to be a driving force that sometimes clouds the delivery or the authenticity
of what is being delivered.
What causes me to pose this question is something that has
stayed with me since it happened…..Daniel Pearl
Here is a man that was so driven to put together a story
that he would leave his wife and child, go into the unknown, being lead by
people that didn’t care about his safety, or that he was a father, or anything
about him, to get a story that would be soon forgotten by the readership.
Laying his life on the line, for what? To talk with a terrorist? Did he
actually think he would get an honest story? Did he think the values we share
about human life would be understood by faceless names in the night, shuffling
him around an unforgiving country.
The sad part is we know Daniel more for the choices he made
to put ‘the story’ in front of something much more important, himself, and his
family. I don’t know Daniel and I’m sure he was an amazing and articulate guy
to be associated with the Wall Street Journal. I try to put myself in his place, standing on
a darkened street corner, waiting for ‘someone’ to pick me up and bring me to
an even more dangerous place. I would stand there thinking about my children,
my wife. I would balance that against what I was about to do and how scared I
would be and something in my mind would kick in, self preservation, I don’t
know, but it would kick in and I would have such clarity as to what is
meaningful in life and I would have been back on a plane so fast.
Lets say he did get the story. The only thing that would be
forgotten faster than the story would be the person who wrote it. How many
stories we read in the newspaper that we know or even remember who wrote it?
We can ‘come to terms’ with the wacko people out there doing
stupid horrible things. We chalk them up to unstable thoughts, psychotic
thinking, and disturbed people. But when a normal man, highly respected in his
field, makes such a horrid decision, the ‘why’ stays with me much longer than
the horrific event on the
I can only think the mental driver from within the person
that puts a profession above life itself is so powerful that it can be
Can someone in the ‘business’ reconcile this for ‘lay’
people not plugged into the media.