My Turn: Foley stood apart from other journalists
To say the world has become a crazy and dangerous place would be a big understatement. Nothing adds an exclamation point to that premise like the horrific execution of freelance photojournalist James Foley.
After viewing the still photos of his death thanks in part to a post in my Facebook feed, I was left with an overwhelming sense of grief. With the articles and posts I’ve been able to read about Foley, a few words come to mind: integrity, conviction and faith.
By all accounts, Foley seemed to have all of these things in abundance. His very life was a testimony to those attributes. I have read nothing that leads me to believe otherwise.
He obviously knew the dangers involved in his chosen profession. And this was not the first time he had been taken captive. I won’t rehash the details; the media has covered that already.
But Foley stood for something, a something that appears to be lacking in other areas of the media today. There are exceptions, but they are few and far between.
I make these points in order to pose a very important question: Would the rest of the mainstream media have the same conviction of cause if facing death as a result of their work?
I think it’s a fair question.
Foley believed wholeheartedly in what he did and why he did it. He didn’t have his peers to prop him up. He was honest, persistent and above all dedicated to capturing truth through the lens of his camera.
The majority of the media today has no fear. No fear of reprisal because nearly everyone is in on the façade. Would members of the mainstream media see a story through to the end knowing the potential consequences?
No. If we’re being honest with one another, the answer is an unequivocal no.
It’s easy to offer contrived stories as fact, slanting each story’s perspective to fit an overall and widely accepted narrative that furthers an agenda for political reasons. Especially when there’s only a handful of voices willing to call you out.
I offer the testimony of Foley and his faith-based conviction to refute the lies spread by a corrupted media. He is a man to be admired and emulated given there are so few worthy of that statement. Most of our media lost that type of integrity a long time ago.
I wrestled with whether to pose this question. I weighed in my mind the importance of the truth against the memory of Foley. Both James and the truth stood fast and didn’t waiver. So neither did I.
(G.A. Baribeault lives in Rochester.)