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Journalists, it’s time to take Denzel Washington’s message to the press seriously

In a candid interview with The Washington Post, Denzel Washington cautioned the press not to overlook integrity for clicks, and it’s time his words be taken seriously.

In 2016, Denzel Washington said some words that deserve to be echoed throughout history as the press seeks to redeem itself from the damage it has caused.

“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed; if you do read it, you’re misinformed,” he said.

He then followed that up. “What is the long-term effect of too much information? One of the effects is the need to be first — not even to be true anymore. So what a responsibility you all have: to tell the truth; not just to be first, but to tell the truth. We live in a society now where it’s just first. Who cares? Get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts, we don’t care who we destroy, we don’t care if it’s true. Just say it. Sell it. Anything you practice, you’ll get good at, including B.S.

There has been a war of narratives lately between the press and the White House, and it’s hard to even know who’s telling the truth anymore. The American people are basically in the crossfire of a donkey vs elephant battle that seems to never end.

Likewise, the entertainment industry is no better. Most celebrity coverage is literally defined as gossip. Look at writing job boards and you’ll quickly see the kind of coverage they want.

We have to do better, myself included.