Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

April 9, 1999. >

JOURNALISTS ARE GREAT WHEN THEY CAN BE OMBUDSWOMEN/MEN By Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press (as translated by a volunteer).

HAVANA - Some 1,300 journalists, from Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States, meeting in Jamaica from April 5 to 11, heard a plea for solidarity with their colleagues on the island of Cuba. The 1,300 were of all kinds. However, one is either a journalist or not, just as musicians are musicians and painters are painters. That is, they may be brilliant or not, just like scientists, politicians, military officers, etc. There is no reason to expect more from journalists than from other professions.

A journalist, however, ought to be true to one's self, free, objective, truthful, entertaining, accessible to all levels of society. One can be a sensationalist or an investigator, trivial or profound, may use elaborate language or the plainest, yet never lose sight of the true objective: To serve as a voice for the citizenry.

Such service is like the role of "ombudsman" or representative (at times defender) of the readership and it's such a magnificent idea. He or she is a sort of advocate for the people, not having a judicial or legislative role but harmonizing and working face to face with the daily realities, every day of the week, every month of the year. A true journalist dreams with the news and once in awhile suffers nightmares or palpitations, shouts, fights his sources, takes risks, may die at any time. Yet the journalist must always be loyal to the Truth and to a sense of ethics. Journalism is a profession with no room for the double standard.

Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.

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