Since the beginning of the week I am in the US – received a scholarship. Has nothing to do with me being a Roma as people that nominated me and selected me had no idea I am one.
Last night I had a humbling experience. As an young, dirt poor adult I dreamed of seeing the National Press Club in Washington DC impressed by an American movie I saw.
So, last night I had an amazing dinner at the club. 20 years ago telling anybody about me eating here would have made people think I was insane.
At the entrance in the club there is a bronze plaque with the Journalist’s creed. I took a photo of it.
The last part reads – I believe that the journalism which succeeds the best-and best deserves success-fears God and honors man; is stoutly independent; unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power; constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of the privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance, and as far as law, an honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship, is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world.
I wish the many talented Romanian and European journalists I know and I read could live up to this creed. There are many reasons why it is much easier and profitable not to. But if to make the European project successful we badly need people that have the ethics and incentives to do it. And I decided a while ago that I will try everything I can to help this to happen. I will also try to control better my “pride of opinion” while keeping “unafraid” and “quickly indignant at injustice” when writing about the systemic failures of the intergovernmental organisations, governments and NGOs dealing with the most vulnerable people.
In 1994 I had an issue of The New Yorker left by an American that visited Craiova. I struggled to read it. I thought it was amazing. I write this in my hotel room in New York. What I can see on the window is this.
20 years ago I was afraid of dreaming too big.I was wrong. I hope that in 20 -30 years to read similar letters from a few of the children in Ferentari.
Dear Valeriu: When I was in New York with my granddaughter – she had a scholarship at American School of Ballet – I would go to The New Yorker building and ride up and down on the elevator, taking in the feeling of excellent writing, sometimes recognizing a writer, and absorbing the feeling of home. That magazine, no matter where I go, is my home. Glad you feel much the same.
Good wishes, Carol