TED Talk: Why Journalists Have An Obligation To Change Power
Jorge Ramos is a radical journalist who has over 30 years working as a reporter in the US. Ramos believes that journalists have a responsibility to inquire and challenge people who are in power. He recently talked to TED on various reasons why he believes journalists have a major role in changing power across the entire world.
Born in Mexico and living as an immigrant in the Los Angeles, Ramos has learned that neutrality, silence, and fear are not the best options for humans and especially the journalists. According to him, neutrality is basically an excuse that journalists use to evade their core responsibilities. The key point that they need to emphasize is to challenge those people holding positions in power and reporting the reality as it is.
Contrary to what majority of people think, journalists, make both ethical and moral judgments all the time. They always make decisions that are exceedingly personal and subjective. They sometimes report the official versions of the stories and also personal views depending on the subject and the people involved. Since he moved to the US, Jorge Ramos found freedom in reporting the reality of things without being reprimanded despite being an immigrant in the country.
Recently, he covered the US presidential election campaigns and for the first time, Ramos heard the aspiring presidential candidate who eventually became the president, saying that the Mexican immigrants are criminals, drug traffickers, and rapists. Shocked and hurt by these words, Ramos posted a hand-written letter to President Donald Trump requesting for an interview with him. He later learned that his letter and contacts were made public and he received numerous applauds and insults from people.
At that point, he decided to stop being neutral and living in fear as a journalist. Today, he has a mission to change the journalism world by confronting powerful people in high positions. Journalists are the voice of the oppressed in the society, hence they should learn to say “NO” and stop being victims. They should set aside neutrality and indifference by confronting people in power in all aspects of life including cases of racism, discrimination, corruption, dictatorships, lying to the public, and human rights.