What makes journalists tick

Op/Ed on Yahoo News by Gerald Boyd, former NY Times managing editor: ” Most journalists are insecure. They are not born that way, but are made apprehensive by the reality that thousands and even millions of readers, viewers and listeners constantly scrutinize their work. For them, this creates a kind of torture, which they experience in performing their craft. Most believe what they present is accurate, but they live in fear of someone punching holes in it.

“Paradoxically, most journalists are arrogant. Again, they are not born that way. But arrogance takes hold because journalists have information, and information is power. They are allowed front-row seats to news events and important people, and thus they see more and know more than others. For even the most humble, this can become intoxicating.”

Also: “Finally, most journalists are driven by a sense of righteousness that means different things to different people. Some define this practice as truth-telling. Others regard it as standing up to the powerful. Still others view it as looking out for the underdog, or afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.

“In a free society, journalists are a necessary burden.”

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