The Assault on Truth

It is hard for me to think of something that has disturbed me more in the past couple of years than the assault on truth. I commend TIME Magazine for naming, as their annual “Person of the Year,” the courageous journalists and newspeople who have braved ridicule, assault, incarceration, and even death, as exemplified by a selected group that includes the murdered Jamal Khashoggi.

I am only two “degrees of separation” from a photojournalist who was ambushed and assassinated in Venezuela for his portrayal of life under Hugo Chavez. Chavez had the audacity to call the family and extend his sympathies. He asked what he could do for them, and they responded by promptly leaving the country.

Given the magnitude of the assault on truth we witness every day, I struggle to organize a commentary on this assault that fits the format of a blog post. It is simply too big an issue. So for now, I want to leave you with a comment on fighting this assault, and a quote (taken from TIME Magazine) that captures, for me, how very important journalistic truth is.

The greater the assault on truth, the more dire the need for critical thinking. I have started a list of books I have found helpful in pointing out how we, as informed citizens, can distinguish truth from falsehood, and how to hold accountable those who attack the truth.

Kofi Annan, late Secretary-General of the United Nations, had this to say:

“Freedom of the press ensures that the abuse of every other freedom can be known, can be challenged and even defeated.”