The Journalist's Creed
by Walter Williams
I believe in the profession of journalism.
I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are,
to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public;
that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust.
I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy and fairness
are fundamental to good journalism.
I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true.
I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other
than the welfare of society, is indefensible.
I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman;
that bribery by one’s own pocketbook is as much to be avoided as bribery by the
pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by
pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends.
I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the
best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should
prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service.
I believe that the journalism which succeeds best—and best deserves success—fears God
and honors Man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power,
constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers
but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the
clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance and, as far as law and honest wage and
recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic
while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship;
is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.
Read about Walter Williams' journey here.