Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A Torontonian's View of the World

I've always revered what journalists do, and how they do it. Many put themselves in harm's way because getting the story out is more important than anything else. Others, however, just chose to follow the ratings and pick the most salacious stories. And then there's Geraldo, who tries to do both while embedded as a war correspondent in Afghanistan, but it didn't really work out for him. In this day and age, when we are confronted with news from every angle, it's increasingly more important to choose one's sources wisely, and often to read the stories that don't always seem most attractive, but can offer much perspective.

Toronto-born network news anchor Peter Jennings, who passed this week, was a journalist that tried to offer a view of the world, instead of feeding into the ratings frenzy. For an American audience - a small percentage of which actually have passports - digesting international news can be tough. Jennings decided he would deliver stories from around the globe anyway, because it was important for him to live up to the banner of his show, World News Tonight, even if it meant a decline in ratings. It was risky, but he made a name for himself in foreign affairs reporting. Part of me thinks this decision of his had something to do with his background in a country as multifaceted (and multicultural) as Canada. Canadians are known as frequent travelers, inquisitive about the world around them. Peter Jennings is an inspiring symbol of the worldwide curiosity we all share as Canadians.


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