Guts, not glory
Having just returned from the national convention of the Society of Professional Journalists, I was happy to read Sam's post about our efforts to revive the campus chapter here at USC. As I said in last week's meeting, we need this organization now more than ever. The 1,000 professional and student journalists who met in New York City for the convention were reminded of the principles that have defined modern-era journalism -- commitment to accuracy and truth, independence and integrity. Broadcasting legend Walter Cronkite, NBC Nightly News's Brian Williams and independent journalist and PBS host Bill Moyers, among others, sounded cautionary notes about declining standards in the profession, marked by gross lapses in judgment and a reluctance to ask tough questions of those who hold the public trust. Why have journalists grown so timid? Maybe it's related to what Bill Moyers said Saturday: Too many journalists are more interested in getting close to powerful people than they are in getting close to the truth. Any thoughts?