Sorry, Patrick. I didn't mean to offend you and I see I have done it. I'll amend what I said. As in all things, there are exceptions. I would think many journalists are honest and that many editors and publishers are, too. I don't know the ratio of good ones to bad ones. The media appear to me to be, often enough to constitute a problem, more interested in creating sensation and molding public opinion with propaganda than in reporting facts truthfully and without embellishment. Such journalists may not be in the majority; they may even be a very small minority, but regardless of their percentage, they have given the profession a bad reputation.
My kind of journalist was the old newspaper war-horse I once knew in my home town in Texas. He didn't compose on a typewriter and then edit, he wrote the entire weekly newspaper directly on the Linotype machine, and he always wrote things exactly as he saw them. He said it like it was, right or wrong, according to his lights, and his opinions were never disguised or dressed up to look like anything else than his opinions. He never used words like "the controversial (_________)", or "(______) denies wrongdoing in (______) case" when nobody had suspected (______) of wrongdoing until they read that sentence.
Instead, he just reported what he saw. When a pool room opened on main street, true to his River City roots, he announced "P O O L !" clear across the top of the paper in gigantic upper case letters, and followed with a long Philippic against the evils attracted by a pool hall. Later, when "The Music Man" hit the boards, I remembered The Calvert Tribune and its fire breathing editor/publisher. When oil was struck in a cotton field just outside town, the whole top third of the paper was occupied by a single giant word, O I L ! ... including the exclamation point ... and he used that headline for the next several issues. It was obvious that he was sensationalizing the strike but he didn't ever pretend he was doing anything else. Frankly, it was a good stimulant in a town where the most exciting thing to do on a Saturday afternoon was to go down to the barber shop and watch the old farmers hit the spittoon from eight feet away.
When a local preacher attacked him in a sermon as being an atheist, he single-handedly took on the Methodist Church and filled up the whole front page of the paper with the story, declaring that he was not only NOT an atheist but was a hell of a lot better Christian than that preacher, and provided a long list of his own Christian deeds, challenging the preacher to furnish his list and let the townspeople decide which of them was the Christian and which was an Instrument of the Devil. The preacher wrote a letter of apology to him, and he printed it big as life on the front page.
He also provided us with some of the most memorable bloopers ever published: "Miss Mary Jo Anderson is home for the holidays from Texas Christian University, where she has studded." "Mr. and Mrs. Corbin Robertson will be hosts at a c___ party at the country club next Friday evening." "The Calvert Cemetary Fence has received a new coat of aluminum paint, which tends to liven the place up."
But the main thing I liked was that he never pushed a hidden agenda.
That is my kind of journalist. If your relatives are like him, even in a more polished modern form, they are my kind of journalists, too.