Educated, professional journalists are needed to help us make sense of the world, said NBC foreign correspondent Richard Engel, as he accepted the Excellence in International Reporting Award for his Middle East coverage from the International Center for Journalists last night. Here's an excerpt from his remarks:
"Some say that our profession, that our job as journalists, is getting less important, that one day, perhaps one day soon, people will just upload all the pictures and images that they take on their cell phones, and the world will be covered.
"I don't agree with that. While I do believe that the more images taken by the more people in the world will ultimately create a better society and [be] a benefit to the world. I think that also by having more images, it makes it harder for dictators and tyrants to steal money and continue to be corrupt.
"But I still think we desperately do need educated and experienced people to make sense of it all. In fact, the more data that is out there, the more urgent this need becomes. You need musicians to string melodies together from all the disconnected notes that are floating around -- some sharp, some flat, some false -- otherwise there's just a cacophony of sound."
(Photo via The Rachel Maddow Show with a Creative Commons license.)
Watch the video of Engel's speech: