A Journalist’s perspective and open letter to their respondents

A journalist must have convictions that they live by – to take a stand on an issue to write from ones heart and soul. A journalist must have ethics – we cannot let personal opinions shape the slant of our writings.  I can have opinions about a presidential candidate, deep personal opinions, but a journalist can’t express them.  I can think Bush is a crazed man but I am not at liberty to build a story around what I think – I have to write based upon what information is being released, direct statements made by Bush, and what other’s see in the man. I cannot take the liberty of writing unsubstantiated ‘facts’ that I make up in my mind and pawn that off as the truth.  Lastly, a journalist has to be responsible to his/her readers to present an essay, article, or story that is bringing the reader to a point where they can decide on their own the validity of what is being said. 

Pravda.ru is translated in to several languages and this puts even more responsibility on the journalist to write in such a way that the reader can be armed with information so as to represent a better picture of the world and the events unfolding, or of a past that has gone by.  

Pravda.ru is also dedicated to Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. In American, this is called the First Amendment – the First Amendment is not a license, it is in reality more of a warning.  Journalists cannot slander someone and blanket themselves with the First Amendment.  Nor can one just simple publish what they want and claim it is Freedom of Speech – the pornographic industry in the US is doing just that, they put up pictures that might be better left controlled in some way and away from younger views that aren’t ready for such things under the First Amendment.  But, that is my opinion. 

I was flattered when I was invited to be a columnist for Pravda.ru for they truly espoused that which I believe journalism should be.  Pravda.ru does not tell me what slant I am to write from – they don’t tell me they favor a particular candidate in American elections, or what they are sympathetic too.  This gives a journalist a broader base of diverse subjects and more responsibility. 

Pravda.ru also provides a vessel for its readers to respond to the various articles and essays written by the journalist staff.  This is something that is almost disappearing in America because of polarizing that is happening in America.   

I get letters from our readership about some of the articles and essays I have written. This is not a bad thing as I enjoy most of the letters – you see, I read for understanding, what is the letter addressing, and what is the writer trying to say to me.   

I am an American, I live in America, and I do not believe that the American way is the only way, nor is it completely the correct way of which other countries must abide by. Nor do I believe everything that I am told – and that is what separates many Americans; there are those who do not want to see anything other than America uber alles.  

Recently, I wrote part four of a series on Russian and American dating.  One reader took great exception to the article and wrote to tell me so.  That is this person’s right, but the line in the sand is that he wrote from a propagandized slant.    

I am not sure why he chose the statistics he did, or why he didn’t include some of the other glaring statistics.  He wrote that one out of every five marriages between American men and Russian women ends up in divorce – that may be true, but American/American divorces are close to fifty per cent.  Obviously, one has a better chance of a marriage working out between American/Russian.   

He also pointed out that American/Russian divorces often cite spousal abuse.  This is not an issue confined to American/Russian marriages.  It is a world wide problem.  American/American marriages are fraught with spousal abuse on both sides and a new category of victims is slowly creeping into the courts and that is the abused husband.  The abused husband is now being taken very seriously and is long over due.  Read Macbeth and tell me that isn’t husband abuse. 

The responder talks about overseas scam artists, gold diggers, and women only wanting a ‘green card’ – scamming, gold diggers and women/men with agendas are as old as human kind.  Wire fraud, forgery, and identity theft are becoming more and more frequent in the United States.  We need to realize that.  Just because a woman from Russia wants to find an American husband does not mean they are all bad girls.  There are bad girls and bad men world wide.  I had a friend who lived in Michigan and in her personal ad on the Jewish dating sites she openly stated that if one did not have MD behind their name don’t bother to write – is that considered ‘gold digging’?  Yes, it is.  She also added ‘age unimportant’ – she was 48 and she’d take someone right out of residency.  Does this strongly suggest that it was only the income level that she was after? 

Men and women misrepresent themselves – period.  It is not just a simple matter of the whole Russian/American marriage practice that should be condemned because a few.  A few on either side. 

The responder wrote about a bill before congress that wants to regulate the dating industry.  I’m familiar with the bill and the author talks about human trafficking rather than two people using an agency to meet rather than going to an American bar, or where ever singles meet.  Human trafficking is a serious allegation and the Senator sponsoring the bill likes to mix words around for shock and awe.  Senator Cantwell is operating under the guise of stopping the abuse of the overseas marriage – and what abuses is she really talking about? 

The operative word though is ‘regulate’.  America will not bring itself to regulate the health industry nor the gun industry.  These two topics are completely verboten on the floors of the US congress.  We don’t dare regulate ‘soft money’ going to a candidate – if we did, a certain senator from Minnesota would not have gotten around $19,000.00 from the National Rifle Association - that is documented.   

Senator Cantwell has not introduced legislation to regulate what Americans do to each other – Eron and Worldcomm, case closed.   She has not chosen to start regulating the number of American jobs going overseas and Americans out of work.  Has she taken to task of regulating more facilities for men who are battered spouses?  

Cantwell has done nothing to close the loop-holes in our tax laws costing the US three hundred, eleven billion dollars per year. 

Until Cantwell does these things, why bring her up?  Or is her bill just another attempt of the US trying to regulate the world, and conducting world behavior in such a way to say America is the only way?   Personally, I think so. 

The responder didn’t like my use of the word ‘detente’  and I suspect his letter was driven more by that then anything else.  Americans have long forgotten how to read for understanding – the first word in the article that ruffles our feathers and we work so darn hard to confront the author by throwing things at the author that aren’t relevant to the essay.  We seem to think that if an author does not completely agree with everything we think, it is our responsibility to stand up and throw the ‘American way’ at them.  Michael Moore is an excellent example of the new American behavior.   

Moore is a film essayist, and he writes from what he has observed, information he has gotten, and information that is important to him.  Because Moore ruffled feathers doesn’t make him an enemy, because he doesn’t subscribe to party line does not make him a liar.   

Before one undertakes to launch an opinion, one has to read the article for full understanding and not stop reading at the first word one disagrees with.  If you don’t like the writers style, don’t read the article, it is that simple – I disagree with everything the NRA has to say, and I just don’t read their stuff – why get myself all upset?  If you wish to contribute additional information, be sure the author hasn’t covered that in a previous article before you launch.    

Not all Russian women are sinners, and not all Americans are saints.  Pravda.ru has been advocating the anti-scam efforts that the industry itself is now imposing on themselves and their peers, well before Senator Cantwell started her crusade.  The Cantell 'American way' is trailing  behind something that is already place.

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Author`s name Evgeniya Petrova