Integrity: A Trait of True Heroes
One of my first jobs after college was Director of Classified Advertising for the Columbia Missourian newspaper in Columbia, Missouri. Part of my responsibility was the supervision of journalism students who were enrolled in the University of Missouri, School of Journalism. Upon graduation these young men and women wanted to pursue careers as investigative journalists. They chose investigative reporting because they wanted to make the world a better place by helping expose corruption, greed, dishonesty, fake news, and to report on matters of interest and safety to the public. In order to be well-rounded, they were required to work in different divisions of the newspaper, including advertising.
It was through my experience working with the professional and student staff of the University of Missouri, School of Journalism that I came to admire the depth of integrity and honor among principled career investigative journalists. These people were not tabloid ambulance chasers. They were not purveyors of fake news, conspiracy theories, or half-truths. They did not spread gossip or vilify others. They did not intentionally mislead others because of some hidden agenda. They dug deep to uncover tangible facts, to cite multiple sources, to ensure what they reported was true and verifiable.
It is because of these people who are now seasoned reporters that you and I have access to the facts. Each day they work hard to maintain integrity and honor. To get the facts straight. To present us with information so we can be informed about matters that concern all of us.
With so much noise and intentional distractions coming from those throughout the world who do not want us to get to the bottom of their unconscionable and illegal actions, I am especially grateful to know, while anyone can say anything, not everyone is a journalist dedicated to the honor and integrity of the profession. Those investigative reporters who continue to uphold the highest standards of fact-finding, are true modern day heroes to be admired and thanked for their service.
I am honored to know some of them. I am grateful for all of them.