Sunday, September 24, 2023

Please forgive my 7 Deadly Journalistic Sins

Bless me, readers, for I have sinned. My last confession was 40 years ago.

It has indeed been a while since my parents hauled me off to the St. James Catholic Church confessional to be absolved of all sins. Back then, the most malicious misdeeds were riding my bicycle past dark and teasing my sister. I have upped my game considerably over the last four decades.

I find myself back in the confessional today for compelling reasons. Through last year’s launch of BIG Media Ltd, I am attempting to introduce an extremely pure form of journalism. No advertising. No political affiliation. No spin. Our journalists are charged with finding the best data available on important matters and presenting it in a logical, open-source format.

As I pursue this heavenly objective, seeking absolution for my many media malefactions seems to be the righteous path to the journalistic Promised Land. It might also be my best chance to get past Peter Jennings at the press’s Pearly Gates.

I therefore kneel before you today, divulging my 7 Deadly Journalistic Sins:

Lust – given four media passes to a wine-auction gala, I brought three lovely friends in body paint as my guests. I often find myself looking at the photos to remind myself to never do that again.

Gluttony – the times that I used media credentials to eat and drink to excess are far too many to count and, especially, to remember.

Greed – I won $2,000 and an all-expenses-paid trip to the awards event in Toronto for taking the adjacent photo of a young child getting hit in the face with a soccer ball … and did not share any of the cash with the kid.

Sloth – on the day of a nationally televised sports awards show, I used my investigative skills to find out who the two winners would be and interviewed them just before the live telecast. I used questions such as, “If you should be so lucky as to win tonight, what would it mean to you?” Every other journalist in attendance had to ask questions in a scrum as I filed my story (with much better quotes) to my highly impressed editor.

Wrath – in a softball tournament final, I caught the winning team cheating and was so angry that I provided full details in the newspaper the next day. It made for a very interesting phone-in radio show a few days later. Those players were furious, but I was able to write off the novel reaction as sour grapes of wrath.

Envy – I wanted to have the fat stacks of cash that the richest people in the world possess, so I came up with a business plan to make it happen.

Pride – I once had myself featured on the front page of my own magazine. I even asked myself some of the questions.

That is not all I can remember, but please forgive me for all of my sins. I now look to you, my faithful readers, to provide guidance in the comments section regarding penance. Please be gentle.

Rob Driscoll
Rob Driscoll is co-founder and president of BIG Media Ltd. He is a writer and entrepreneur who is deeply committed to elevating the level of coverage of our society's most pressing matters as well as the level of respect in public discourse.

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