Is it just me, or are you noticing that people are quoting unreliable ‘news’ that they have obtained from someone on the internet, who is attempting to present themselves as a real journalist?
So let me define what a journalist is. A journalist has usually graduated from a reputable school of journalism, or has worked in, say – a newspaper office, or in a newsroom in radio or TV and has come up through the ranks.
Their writing is professional and they are held accountable for what they write.
Then there are people like me. I am a freelance writer (among other things) and as my writing is usually paid for (magazines, etc.), I too have to write responsibly and I too have to be able to back up the content of my writing. I am also a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada.
The articles (on the net) that really get to me are the ones that state the information is scientifically driven……….with ‘proof’ and ‘research’ to back them up. (actually bits of information they have found on other unsubstantiated articles on the net……….. weak opinion pieces).
The internet has helped to spread more misinformation than ever before and it borders on fraud and in fact is fraudulent in some cases. As well as spreading misinformation via the written word, the internet has a never-ending source of degrees.
Did you know that if you fancied having a Masters Degree, or even a PhD, you could simply buy one on the net? I mean, why do all the work?
I think there is a token essay you may have to write, but basically, despite the dubious content of the ‘course’ or ‘essay requirement’ you get your degree by passing over money. Not one of these offered ‘degrees’ can be failed due to lack of knowledge. How insulting to those who have worked hard to get the genuine thing. It kind of also screams out lack of ethics and professionalism too.
So, last May (and just for fun), I decided to see if this was as easy as it seemed.
So, I sent away for my Credentials of Ministry.
It even says on the Certificate that “The Bearer Hereof Has Been Ordained and is officially recognized as a member of the monastery and has all rights and privileges to perform all duties of the ministry.”
It has a lovely gold seal on the Certificate. It really does get sillier and sillier. (My former Father In Law – a Professor of Theology for the United Church of Canada would be turning over in his grave…….or perhaps…. knowing him, he would have had a good laugh.)
Okay – don’t get your knickers in a knot. It will never be used and will remain inside the plain brown envelope it arrived in.
Well – I may put the certificate up in my home office, just to bring about a giggle from time to time.
Let me share what I received for my $54 USD.
1) The aforementioned Certificate;
2) A lapel card that clips to my clothing that says Clergy;
3) A Ministerial parking permit (that looks like one of the handicapped permits) to hang from my rear view mirror;
4) A press pass that states ‘this vehicle is on official business’;
5) a bumper sticker that says Minister;
6) Another bumper sticker with symbols that represent just about every single religious belief system on the face of the earth – that states “we are all children of the same universe”;
7) A wallet card that spells out the credentials of Ministry. On this card it states that the Certificate of Ordination is for life. LOL.
So I guess if my other work slows down I can do a few weddings….? After all, my Dad was a Marriage Commissioner for the Shuswap Region (Province of B.C.) back in the day. Must be in the blood eh?
Remember, don’t believe everything you read and be mindful of the source. As one wise anonymous soul once said, “Things are not often what they appear to be”, and that seems to hold true in our world today.
Carole Fawcett is a counsellor and clinical hypnotherapist. www.amindfulconnection.com