The price of working in media

Posted on November 3, 2010

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I have often been asked why I choose to stay in media despite the low pay. If only it didn’t need a long explanation, I have always wanted to say, “But shouldn’t we be the ones paying for this privilege?”

It is an exaggeration, but I hope it drives home the point that working in media comes at a steep price — for a priceless reason.

Our job is to bring news and information to millions of people. Another way of putting it is this: our job is to think, to write what we think, and by doing so, to enrich and influence how millions of others think. Oh, how politicians would spend a fortune to achieve the same thing!

The power we possess is priceless, and the only way we can “pay” for it is to give this job our all. That is to keep trodding, to do justice to our work down to the smallest detail, and despite our modest salaries, never to give in to corruption.

That is to act prudently, to always find ways to tilt the balance of power in favor of the powerless. Because it makes an impact on millions of people, especially the poor, our work is more than just a source of income.

It is a form of charity.

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