Mission statements

My go-to newspaper just printed a brief editorial about their mission statement.  As I read it, I noticed strong parallels between what the editor had to say about his paper and what I’ve been trying to do with my artistic practice.

As Marshall Ingwerson says:

 

“We have a bias, and we’re owning it. It’s a bias for healing.”

“Reporting the news with a mission to heal,” The Christian Science Monitor, June 2, 2014

For those unfamiliar with The Christian Science Monitor, it is not about proselytizing.  The word Christian appears in the newspaper’s name, but neither journalists nor subscribers are required to be Christians, much less students of Christian Science.  (Their weekly spiritual mini-article appears at the far back of the printed newspaper and is easily avoided if readers so desire.)

What the paper does derive from its origins and affiliation is a commitment to optimism.  Part of its motto is to “do no harm,” for which reason the paper tries to prioritize ethical journalism.

To quote Ingwerson yet again:

“That’s our other bias.

It’s not about avoiding or playing down bad news.

We believe bad news needs to be surfaced, addressed, and understood more deeply. But we’re looking for progress.

We’re progress-minded. We believe that healing is inevitable and that eventually it will surface – in the news.”

 

For many of us it is easier to rein in our selfishness and check our privilege as we gain familiarity others’ points of view.  My work this semester focused on visualizing and articulating identity and fantasies in ways that addressed larger societal issues.  It isn’t just about calling out injustice, but also about making it obvious and therefore less powerful.