Do you think you're the best reporter in the world?

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Do you think you're the best reporter in the world?

Yu Sung-kuk
The author is a reporter of the JoongAng Ilbo.
A colleague of mine was depressed because a senior reporter scolded him, saying, “Do you think you're the only reporter in the world?”
I tried to cheer him up, but I still regret my poor choice of words at the time.
I said, “Isn’t it better than someone saying you are not worthy of being a reporter?”  
“Do you think you are the only reporter in the world?” is a reprimand for when somebody, probably a junior reporter, was bring very stubborn.

While being stubborn sometimes stems from pride, it is often the result of serious contemplation into journalistic responsibilities, such as finding the deeply hidden truths or observing those with power. Some people might call that person stubborn, but they would consider themselves to be principled.

Now let’s think about times when someone says “you are not worthy of being a reporter.”
This comment naturally leads you to ask yourself, what is being a reporter?  
You would probably expect someone to give such comments when you have let them down as a journalist. For example, local media outlets were heavily hit with criticism from the public due to the faulty reports they made related to the Sewol ferry disaster, an incident where many teenage lives were taken.  
Regardless of the job, saying someone is not worthy implies they have not lived up to their responsibilities.  

These words will at least make you look back on your early days in that job and ask yourself why you started.  
But what concerns me these days are journalists proudly announcing “I am the only true journalist.” I wonder if it is something influenced by the trend these days to self-promote themselves on social networking platforms.
Many journalists seem to think that they are the only “righteous one,” criticizing other journalists and media.  
Those complaints don't only come from journalists. Whether they are politicians, prosecutors,or professors, they share a similar sentiment.  

When they need to continuously question whether their research or opinions are just, they instead act like they are obsessed with the concept “I am right, and only I am right.”
This logic leads journalists to focus more on criticizing the media and society on social networking platforms than researching for writing articles, and politicians to focus more on starting a war with other parties and blaming them for being evil.
“If it had been sincerely right / the world would have already become a paradise / A conviction that it is right / has caused deaths,” wrote Pak Kyong-ni, a well-known Korean author, in a poem titled “Conviction.”
“Meta-view,” an attitude to try to see yourself objectively, is a key to your mental health, especially in a society where words like “righteous” and “justice” are overused.
Why don’t you take a minute to look back on whether you haven’t been thinking the same way, that you are the “only” one who’s right. It’d be nice to look back on ourselves, while taking a walk during these beautiful autumn days.

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