Since it’s that time of the year I feel like I can make the comparison of journalists to the Nights Watch in Game of Thrones.
This comparison jumped out to me after re-watching the sixth season of the show for the 1,000th time last week.
I do wear black a lot.
We have been around so long that some people have forgotten what our true purpose is.
We take an oath to serve the realm in the best interests of the realm, not the individual.
We are the watchers on a (metaphorical) wall.
The wall that we defend isn’t made of ice. It’s made of facts and truth.
We are not the most popular people.
Luckily, journalists are not made up of murderers and criminals (I hope!).
We want to serve the readers of the realm to the best extent.
At the same time, to be fully non-biased, we have to keep our distance.
The sword in the darkness.
This is a tightrope walked by every writer, but with more astute precision in smaller towns.
It’s a hard dissonance. As a journalist, you become embedded in a community.
You do your best to make sure their voices are heard. But you can’t get too close if you want to keep the bias clean.
You become displaced.
A watcher on the wall.
But it’s what you signed up for.
All you can do is influence through truth.
We, as journalists, need to use that influence through the cleanest, most pure lens we can view.
Our view gets obscured at times.
We are human. We need to know when our eyes are askew.
Our watch has not yet ended.