WHAT IS this freedom of the (feeling) writer?
It is freedom to be intelligent and informed. Freedom to be ignorant is not freedom, for what is freedom? Is it not liberation? And what is ignorance but a prison?
One should be prepared to die for freedom – and how silly it would be to die for one’s ignorance!
How many editors want a writer who believes in freedom?
Freedom of a writer is freedom – to resign if his editor is not a proper editor, and how many editors are proper editors? Let us be truthful. We know one another.
But what if the student writer himself is an improper writer, without any encouragement from his editor?
Freedom is inseparable from character.
Let us think more about this freedom business.
Let us consider the serious practitioners of this thing called journalism in schools. Not the press prostitutes and degenerates that give the profession such a bad name, assuming it can have a better one.
If one would practice journalism in a serious fashion, one must be free, but the freedom of a writer, the freedom of an editor is merely an extension of the freedom of all the students.
This is what I am trying to say: No matter how serious one may be, how dedicated to journalistic ideals, if one does not have enough readers, one will go out of business. It is not enough to be serious, to be free – one must earn the right to be taken seriously. To establish intelligence and integrity takes time and unceasing effort of both mind and will. The exercise of freedom is fraught with consequences. Freedom must be earned. It must be based on a long record of dedication to reason.
Journalism is a mission. It is literature in a hurry.
We are not as needed as school nurses, subtle as professors, constructive as counselors and obstructive as (some) officials, but we exist and have a proper function. Let us be what we are or are supposed to be. If we cannot be more, let us not be less than journalists. Let us practice journalism in schools.