Hi and welcome to our weekly blog post/podcast. Today I want to discuss integrity and how it is essential to writing and life. To see my take on it, stay tuned and continue reading!
I saw something during the week that had me thinking more about integrity, honesty, and accuracy in reporting and writing. It was a news story that gave only half the story and it was the half that would elicit the most suspicions of the audience. At first it hit me as weird as it was controversial to begin with. So, distrust came in. Then I looked up the whole story and it was not what it seemed. Even the ‘gossip’ mongers had a reason in their articles. I’m still not entirely certain that there was an honest answer to the whole issue. So, what was the reason? Was it poor judgment? laziness? attempt to sway or gain readership??…who knows. It doesn’t matter. For me, the important thing is that it got me on the road to thinking about the importance of integrity in one’s work.
How important is integrity in one’s work? Just try to be a sci-fi writer or any type of fiction writer and change a major point in your story line or fictional world that doesn’t hold up under examination. Or be a non-fiction writer and attempt to pass off fiction as fact. Pick one that people have already accepted as part of the world or the world you created and see how your fans will react. I’m laying odds that they won’t react well. So, it’s important to keep the integrity of the story line. This is one form of integrity.
In journalism, integrity, honesty and accuracy should be a general expectation (at least theoretically). Journalistic integrity should not depend on what is popular or unpopular. They call journalism the 4th estate because it is their job to be the last bastion of truth…not the purveyors of half truth and rubbish. How are we to keep Government and institutions honest if we cannot trust the 4th estate?? The most important thing a journalist or writer can do is follow the information/story line, not what you want to find but what good research suggests you will find or should find. It’s Ok to put a kink in the storyline, but it should have some ground to stand on…not just come out of nowhere. Now take this into other forms of writing and art…people trust the author and other artists to speak their truth. Opinion pieces are just that, opinion. When we read an actual news story, we want facts. We know that fiction is not the truth as such, but we need to keep integrity of the story…so that is a form of honesty. It is being authentic as an author. For that matter any artists wants to achieve being authentic in their art.
In life, if you are not honest with yourself and others, then people lose trust. Trust and integrity are at the heart of everyday conflict. It is part of why it is important not to present someone else’s work as your own and why you need to do your own work and perfect your own art. It is how we develop morals and standards in any artistic endeavour and how we live our lives.
So, if everyone wonders what my take on integrity in any type of work is, I side with it being very important. As Douglas Adams said, ” To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” People have not picked this topic because they were bored. They said it because they know it will result in a better society and ultimately superior art work of all sorts.
Be realistically unrealistic, you cannot create true art, true authorship or a healthy life if you do not keep integrity and other ethical principles a part of your work and life. It is ingrained in the society that was created when we first came out with the first cave paintings, and continued on with all arts including journalism and moveable print. We cannot cheapen any of our artistic endeavours and end up with quality product.
You can find the podcast of this blogpost on Anchor FM: https://anchor.fm/a–j-pei-treasures
Thanks for reading my blog post and for your interest in A & J PEI Treasures