Khaled Almaeena
Khaled Almaeena

What compels writers or journalists to write? It is not money that motivates them. Perhaps Dani Shapiro sums up the answer well: “To shine a light, to right a wrong, to shape chaos into art, to pose difficult questions, to challenge our own belief, to connect because we have to." Journalists and activists write about social issues and are motivated by their sense of responsibility to serve public interests. At times their frankness upsets some people. Many are against journalists because they believe that we should not wash our society's dirty linen in public. I say to them that no one is perfect and we should not be ashamed to admit our shortcomings. We need to identify our mistakes so that we can correct them. Journalists do not write for self-aggrandizement. They write to communicate with those who need to know and aspire to correct a wrong. When people criticize journalists for focusing on negative reports and believe that they embarrass the nation before the international community, they fail to realize that nothing is secret anymore. Is it not better that we write about what is happening in our society than let the foreign media report inaccurate and distorted information from unreliable sources? Writers are talented people who have the eloquence to express ideas and opinions in writing. They are obliged to use their talent for the good of their country. They should use their pen to serve justice and help the underprivileged. Opinion writers and journalists write to give people a voice, to help others, to tell the truth, to send a message and above all to say what others are not ready to say out loud. The alliance between the media and the government can be beneficial to all. The authorities are willing to accept media initiatives to support social justice and economic progress. The media is a watchdog that should be encouraged to expose those in society who like to flag their false sense of patriotism. To them I say that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. — Reprinted with permission of the Saudi Gazette and Khaled Almaeena. The writer is Editor-at-Large. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter: @KhaledAlmaeena