i was in DC yesterday and made a special trip to see the einstein monument outside of the national academy of science (thanks sara!). one of the plaques had this quotation:
“The right to search for truth implies also a duty. One must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.”
– Albert Einstein
reminded me of the idea that “omission is the most common form of deceit.” in grad school there was this ridiculous tension between the PR people and the journalism people. the PR people fancied themselves pragmatists. the journalism people fancied themselves idealists. the journalism people were on the offensive saying that the PR people were servants of evil commercial interests while they, in contrast, were servants of “truth,” advancing the public good.
the PR people did a good job (of course) showing why this was a myopic and often hypocritical view. after 10 years in the workforce i’ve come to believe that the PR people were right … that it’s all the same thing. PR serves commercial interests, yes, but that is not necessarily a bad thing for society. journalists peddle interest too, whether they like to see it that way or not. sometimes they’re peddling their own political or ideological orientation, other times they are advocating for the rights and interests of others. any which way, it earns them dough and makes them feel important.
more and more, i don’t see a clear line between these disciplines. as a speech writer, i am technically a PR chick, but I resist that label because of the connotations conveyed in this Mac commercial. these days, i call myself a communications professional and leave it at that.