Journalism is—or at least ought to be—simply telling the truth. As opposed to lying. Like my father lied, when he told me my mother was dead. When he called her a whore. Especially when he drunkenly insisted he loved me.
When your father lies, you never get completely over it. Because you know a liar is the opposite of an omnipotent loving god, who is supposed to be there to protect you. A liar will throw you to the wolves, leave you to die.
As a child I was surrounded by lies. Which is why I was strongly drawn to newspaper reporting, which at one time held that the truth and its verification was the ultimate goal. Verification is the key word here. It’s why as a boy I saved up my odd-job money and bought a Gilbert microscope. With it I saw that the skin of an onion—precisely as the biology textbook said—was made up of cells containing a nucleus and mitochondria.
Verifying this biological allegation for myself made me feel good. And safe.