Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tim Russert: Journalism is a Vocation

CNN, on Larry King Live, had a special edition on the day (13 June 2008) that journalist Tim Russert died entitled ‘Journalist Tim Russert is Remembered’.

During this hour of reflection by many of his colleagues King played this video excerpt of Tim Russert’s thoughts about being a journalist:

“We are surrogates for the American people. Very few places in the world have the kind of protections, particularly the Constitutional protections, we have in this country as a free press. And we have an obligation for all those men and women who work hard all week long in real jobs that when they turn on CNN or turn on NBC, or pick up a newspaper or turn on the radio, they realize that someone else is working as hard as they are trying to get to the truth. And it is not an easy job, but you know what, Larry, it is the best one you could ever have. It is a vocation being in journalism.”

One might wonder when and how Russert developed this notion of vocation. In an On Faith’ interview sponsored by The Washington Post and Newsweek (18 May 2007), he revealed the secret:

“Let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God’s work must truly be our own.”
--John F. Kennedy January 20, 1961

“I was ten years old when I heard those words. They still resonate with me nearly a half century later. Am I doing God’s work? Is being a journalist my vocation? How does my faith influence my judgment as a reporter? Should it? Are the demands of my chosen profession leaving enough time for my responsibilities as a son, brother, husband, father and friend?”

Russert had headed this article with the important question, ‘Am I doing God’s Work?’

Dr. Geoff Pound

Image: “Am I doing God’s work?”

Tim Russert on Lifting Others Up
Tim Russert on America
Tim Russert on Fatherhood and Family
Tim Russert: ‘Always Loved, Never entitled’