I guess I still haven’t figured it out.
Maybe I’m not a journalist?
When I first started writing for First Down Sports last May, I told myself that I wasn’t going to sit on anymore scoops.
The story is the story and it needs to be told.
No holding back.
That was my intended mantra, but
that has certainly changed.
If I have learned anything in all of this, is that there are some stories I can’t write, because it might burn the source and some stories that are just not mine to tell.
The story is just not worth ruining or jeopardizing friendships or relationships with sources for the sake of a few likes or retweets.
In the past few weeks I’ve been told a few times to sit on stories.
That’s incredibly difficult to understand and accept, but that’s where morals, ethics and integrity come into play.
Last year I had a source try to protect me.
I wrote the story anyway.
At the time I didn’t give it much thought, but over time sometimes you have stop and listen and trust what people are saying.
That’s extremely difficult when you’re the first to have the story and it’s incredibly news worthy.
Nonetheless, there’s a reason why that source was trying to protect me.
Were they protecting themselves and their interests?
Of course they were, but they had the class and dignity to try to protect my journalist integrity and
that means everything to me.
I’ll never forget that conversation after I published the article.
“I tried to protect you,” they said.
“I know, but I had two other sources confirm, I had to write it,” I replied.
The last two stories that I have sat on are too delicate to report.
They could in fact ruin the potential outcome and make things worse if I was to publish them.
I had one close friend and colleague ask me a very valid question a few weeks back.
“What do you want to be Craig?”
“If you’re a journalist, you have to write the story.”
I’ve been fighting for journalist integrity and validity for along time now, but when push comes to shove, I still hesitate.
Maybe I have too many irons in the fire, but I refuse to jeopardize the integrity of a relationship with an organization or a friend for sake of a scoop.
A scoop that if in fact I was to report on or write about could very well impact the outcome of the story or hurt someone or some organization.
For now I don’t have an answer to my friends question.
For now I’m a writer, a broadcaster and a scout, maybe that makes me a shitty journalist, but for now I’m not going to change a thing.
Sure I have some regrets, but I’m still navigating my way through all of this.
Every journalist is in search of the story.
Every journalist wants the scoop.
For now I’m still trying to figure out who I am as a journalist.
For now I’m going to forget the labels and just be true to myself.
There are some stories I can’t write.
There are some stories that aren’t mine to tell.