When I was 10 years old, I was introduced to politics by my uncle who ran for sheriff of the Mississippi county in which we lived.
It quickly got in my blood – neither because campaigning for him at 10 was an amazing opportunity, nor for the travel around the county going to “stumping” events where I became famous introducing him. Instead, it was because I saw the corruption in politics and thought how unfair – and poorly monitored – the process was. I felt my uncle, who was an honest and decent man, and one who wanted to “clean up” the graft and the corruption, would somehow get elected and right the ship.
Instead, I watched his opponent rent a bus and go into poor, disenfranchised neighborhoods, give them $20 each, and take them to the polls to vote for this scalawag that purchased their time and vote.
Still, my uncle narrowly missed being elected by some 100 votes. I went on to campaign for him again at 14, then again at 18. Each of the two subsequent times, he missed being elected by small margins. After that, he gave up.
I went to college and majored in journalism; minored in political science so that I could one day write for The Washington Post about federal elections, such as the presidency. My career took an abrupt turn into marketing and now I find myself wishing I were covering this year’s primaries and presidential selection process.
Impartial reporting has been gone from the landscape for many years. Journalism is still alive – barely – yet devoid of objectivity. Good journalism is all but dead; it’s voice is barely a pip and squeak.
Next up: What is reporting and what is journalism?