Journalism and Patriotism

"I believe it is vital to the interest of the journalist and the public alike that we engage in an urgent, forceful and consistent campaign to educate the public with the knowledge that in a democratic society the journalist is, in fact, exercising the highest form of citizenship by monitoring events in the community and making the public aware of them and their import; by skeptically examining the behavior of people and institutions of power; by encouraging and informing forums for public debate," writes Bill Kovach, North American representative and chair of the International Consorium of Investigative Journalists Advisory Committee and chairman of the Committee of Concerned Journalists. "We need to make it clear to the public that the journalist best expresses citizenship by functioning as a committed observer, especially when the community is under stress or undergoing rapid, disorienting change."