Walter Williams's Journalist's Creed

By Mike Fancher on September 1, 2008 0 Comments Ideas

Words that have inspired generations of journalists and the surprising backstory.

Walter Williams, journalist's creed, story
The story behind the Journalist's Creed: an uphill battle

The Journalist's Creed 

by Walter Williams

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.

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