Thursday, October 28, 2010

Trust Me...

I stopped to really take this in the other day while reporting: Our viewers trust us. Completely.

That's a powerful thing to remember and I think it's something news people take for granted a lot. They trust us on every issue. I can't remember a single time I've done a live shot and not gotten asked a question. If a passerby sees me in front of that camera, they assume I know everything about whatever is going on.

But the trust goes deeper: They trust we are always right. They trust we are unbiased. They trust we tell the truth, are smart, are balanced, are fair, have their interests in mind...the list goes on.

My parents always said "trust is earned." But our viewers just give it to us. From the moment you sit down at the news desk, step in front of the camera, or put a story on air, you have their complete trust. It's not earned- it's given. It's given to us by our viewers because of the four letters on our polos, the logo on our mic flag.

But their trust can be a heavy load to carry. In exchange for trusting us, viewers (almost unknowingly) demand our knowledge, creativity, enthusiasm, professionalism...They demand our perfection. When a live report goes off without a hitch, the desk probably won't get a single call. But if someone messes up, viewers most certainly notice. They are let down.

The way I see it, if stopping to remember how much our viewers trust us and/or kicking off sweeps this week doesn't make you want to be a better journalist than you were yesterday, I don't know what will.

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