Wed, 22 May 2024 Feature Article

Believe It Or Not, Journalists Are Like Pastors As Journalism Is A Divine Call

Believe It Or Not, Journalists Are Like Pastors As Journalism Is A Divine Call

Journalism, much like pastoral work, is a vocation that can be seen as a divine calling. Both roles share a fundamental commitment to truth, guidance, and the betterment of society. The foregoing view cannot be dismissed with mere wave of the hands or making snake-like hisses as there are plethora of examples to show that journalism parallels the sacred calling of a pastor.

For instance, Pastors are known for their quest for spiritual truths, guiding their congregations towards enlightenment and understanding. Journalists, in a similar vein, pursue factual truths, striving to inform the public and shed light on matters that affect our lives and communities. Both are tasked with revealing truths that can often be uncomfortable but are necessary for growth and progress.

Just as pastors shepherd their flock, guiding them through life's moral and ethical dilemmas, journalists marshal the public discourse, steering it towards issues of importance and relevance. They hold a lantern to the path of public consciousness, highlighting stories that might otherwise remain in darkness.

Pastors serve their community by providing support, counsel, and a sense of belonging. Journalists serve the community by acting as watchdogs for democracy, holding those in power accountable, and giving a voice to the voiceless. Both roles are essential in fostering a healthy, vibrant community.

Pastors often advocate for justice from the pulpit, calling for actions that reflect the moral teachings of their faith. In a similar vein, Journalists advocate for justice through their reporting, exposing wrongdoing and advocating for change. Their work can lead to tangible improvements in laws, policies, and societal standards.

In times of crisis, pastors provide comfort and hope to those who are struggling. Journalists also provide comfort by informing the public, which can help people make sense of the world around them. In fact, knowledge can be a source of comfort, and by providing it, Journalists offer a beacon of hope.

In a similar vein, Pastors provide moral and ethical guidance based on religious teachings. Journalists provide guidance by reporting on the consequences of actions, both good and bad, thus helping the public discern right from wrong based on societal norms and values.

In essence, both pastors and journalists are called to serve, enlighten, and lead. They are both guardians of their respective truths, spiritual and factual, and their respective works is vital to the well-being and advancement of society. While their methods and platforms may differ, the essence of their callings is aligned with a higher purpose: to serve humanity and uphold the principles of truth and justice.

Without any scintilla of hyperbole, Journalists are by each passing day always seen exploring every nooks and crannies of the society as in the course of duty they deploy the ink of truth to weave God's narrative in their own way. To aptly put it, Journalists are literarily bettering the world to be a better place to live, just like the way Pastors do.

In a world where information flows like a mighty river, Journalists wield their pens as vessels of truth. If I may ask, “Is there a deeper purpose to their craft? Yes! This is as journalism is more of ink on paper, pixels on screens, or sound waves in the air.

In fact, exploring how journalism aligns with God's work and calling, weaving a tapestry of revelation and responsibility reveals that Journalism is a call to illuminate darkness.

For instance, God said, “Let there be light”. Given the foregoing scriptural injunction, there is no denying the fact that the words echo through the ages, resonating with journalists who seek to uncover hidden truths. Just as God separated light from darkness, Journalists illuminate the shadows of corruption, injustice, and deceit. Their pursuit of facts mirrors the divine quest for clarity. Each exposé, each headline, becomes a beacon, guiding humanity toward righteousness.

To further buttress the fact that Journalists are called by God, and that they are like Pastors, it is germane to opine that prophets were messengers, their words etched into scrolls, proclaiming divine will. In a similar vein, Journalists, too, carry a prophetic mantle. Their bylines echo across time, challenging the status quo, demanding change. Whether reporting on political scandals or environmental crises, they channel God's call for justice. Their pens write not mere stories but revelations, which is invariably invitations to transformation.

Against the backdrop of the scriptural phrase that says, “In the beginning was the Word...” Journalism, at its core, is storytelling. From breaking news to feature articles, Journalists weave narratives that shape our understanding of the world. Like parables, these stories convey deeper truths. Whether it is a tale of resilience after disaster or a profile of a community leader, Journalism mirrors God's storytelling, a reminder that every life is a chapter in the grand narrative.

Also, opining from the backdrop of the saying that “To whom much is given, much will be required”, Journalists bear a weighty responsibility. Their words hold power as they are inherent with the clout to expose, to heal, or to harm. Just as God entrusted humanity with stewardship over creation, Journalists steward information. Their integrity, accuracy, and empathy matter. In the crucible of deadlines, they choose whether to honor their calling or compromise their purpose.

In a similar vein, it is expedient to also opine that in the quest for transparency, and seemingly in obedience to the divine injunction that says, “Seek, and you shall find”, Journalists no doubt embody this quest as they dig, they probe, they question. Thus, their pursuit of truth mirrors God's invitation to seek Him. Whether investigating government policies or corporate practices, they unveil hidden agendas. In transparency, they find redemption. Their work echoes the divine promise, “The truth shall set you free”.

Also in a parallel vein, trained and ethical Journalists are in the field on daily basis fighting the battle against fake news ostensibly obeying the scriptural injunction that says, "You shall not bear false witness." Without a doubt, God’s commandment reverberates in the fight against misinformation. Journalists combat the plague of fake news, armed with integrity and fact-checking. Their battle is spiritual, a defense of truth against deception. When they expose falsehoods, they uphold God's standard of honesty.

Journalists are unarguably silent witnesses, particularly as they continue to fulfil God’s scripture in Luke 19:40 that says. "I tell you, if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." This statement which is an emblematic way of saying that the truth about Jesus is so powerful and so compelling that it cannot be silenced or suppressed is been fulfilled by Journalists even when most self-styled “Men of God” are silent. After all, the scripture says, even if his followers were to fall silent, the very rocks themselves would bear witness to his greatness.

Given the foregoing, it is expedient to opine that journalists today are bearing witness for God as their cameras are everywhere capturing moments of triumph and tragedy. Their words immortalize heroes and villains. Like the stones that lined ancient roads, their work testifies to human experience. In documenting history, they echo God's omniscience, the One who sees all, records all.

Like a Journalist or hate him. The fact remains that he is a pastor in his own way; not with the Bible and cassock, but with his pen, microphone and camera. Without a doubt, when journalism is aligned with God's purpose, it becomes a sacred scroll. Its ink flows from the well of truth, its headlines etched by the divine hand.

At this juncture, it is germane to prayerfully opine that as journalists, including this writer, wield their pens, may they remember their calling, to illuminate, to prophesy, to steward, and to seek. For in their words, they echo the Author of all stories, the One who spoke galaxies into existence and entrusted humanity with the ink of truth. Given the foregoing, it is apt to pray that the truth shall make virtually all Nigerian Journalists to be free, particularly from the hands those that have the predilection of gagging in the course of carrying out their duties.