Estate sale

CAMBRIDGE, MASS — I’ve had the great luck during the last few years to meet people from all over the world who have paid high prices to tell stories the world needed to know. Some of them told stories of their own countries, some went to other countries to tell the people from their own countries what policies that might have otherwise seemed abstract were wreaking, or accomplishing. I have met people who spent time in prison, who have been threatened, who have suffered trauma and terror to do that.

I have never been an advocate of sacrificing anything as valuable as life, health, or peace of mind for a job. The reason I have felt privileged to know the journalists I am describing is because they didn’t do it for a job. Not one of them. They did it because they believed  that without mass communication by trained professionals of integrity, the risk that the bad guys will win was greater than the risk to themselves.

Last week, in this country, many of the bad guys did, indeed, win. They include a future Florida governor who in a more vigilant world would be laying low.

But while the journalists I’ve been lucky enough to meet have done their jobs, many of the people running newspapers here have been more interested in keeping their jobs than carrying out the mission of the fourth estate that gave them their jobs.

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