Honest journalism poked its face out of its hole, squinted at the daylight, and not seeing its own shadow, ventured forth into the world.
Last week Tony Pierce, erstwhile blog editor for the L.A. Times and current editor at large for the Los Angeleno paper, penned a completely accurate and honest article about my church, the Church of Scientology.
Be still, my heart.
The article contained no controversy, no sensationalism, no drama and most of all, no bias.
How refreshing to view something online about my religion without being moved to hurl my chamomile tea at the screen.
How lovely to not have to field a phone call from a concerned non-Scientologist relative or friend about the latest canard to hit cyberspace.
How rare to be able to read an article about Scientology without a rising gorge, quickening pulse, thickening breath.
Pierce’s honest and straight-shooting reportage has lit yet another brave candle for actual journalism.
Mr. Pierce’s piece calmly and fairly recounts the Los Angeles Church of Scientology’s effective actions towards protecting its members, and its outreach to do likewise for its neighbors during the present pandemic.
Barely remembered, in this era of media-for-profit, of clickbait conspiracies, and video voyeurism is this tidbit from history: In 1947, a then-burgeoning media monopoly with pangs of conscience created a committee to research and develop a code of ethics for journalists. The Hutchins Commission created guidelines for the Fourth Estate which included adhering to the principles of accuracy, independence, impartiality, integrity and accountability, with maximal engagement and minimal harm.
Oh well. Into the dustbin went the Hutchins Commission’s efforts with the rise of the Internet and the attendant proliferation of numerous outlets for news, many with dollar signs rather than decency in their sights, as detailed by an article in the Church of Scientology’s Freedom Magazine.
Pierce’s honest and straight-shooting reportage has lit yet another brave candle for actual journalism. Are there enough such candles aglow to drive out the darkness of sloppy and salacious profit-driven “news?” Only time will tell.
Meanwhile, I have one word for you, Mr. Pierce: Bravo.