Points Taken

Written by: Lianne Castelino

Published: Jul 14, 2011

by Lianne Castelino www.whereparentstalk.com

It's well underway.  The viral voyage of a most interesting disseration by Kai Nagata, a television journalist, who has worked for both of the major broadcasters in Canada, CBC and CTV.  He abruptly quit his plum job at the age of 24 and tells us exactly why in his exceptionally well-written piece called:  “Why I quit CTV News.

As an aside, Nagata worked with many of the same people I spent most of my career with, many of whom I still keep in touch with.  As such, I was able to relate to much of what he wrote. 

I don't know Kai Nagata, but would love to chat with him.  To have that much foresight at such a young age is truly commendable.

This is a must-read for everyone, media types or not.  And certainly for parents.

It really boils down to one key thing for me — integrity.  Specifically integrity of purpose and integrity of execution.

I have my own opinions on integrity in the media, but that's really not the point here.  It's about personal integrity and how we conduct ourselves each and every day in everything we do, say and communicate to those around us.

From a parenting perspective, it can be equated to teaching kids right from wrong.  If they get that concept and apply it or at least think about applying it before making a decision (at whatever age they are), then as a parent, you've done a great job.  It's about the questioning before executing.  Think before you act.  As I tell each of my kids about 68 times a day, “don't ever stop thinking.”  I have no idea if they know what that means sometimes!

Pack journalism, even after 18 years in the media, is a concept I fail to understand.  (Why in the world do I want to come back with the exact same clips and story as my colleague and competitor?  Someone help me clarify this concept, please?)  Pack journalism is so easy to partake in.  Follow the pack.  Stick you microphone in to the scrum.  Copy down the answers your colleagues are asking.  Then vomit it all onto a script or a voice-over that will closely mirror others who covered the same story.  Done.  Go home.

Seeking out a different story, the antithesis of pack journalism, or in the case of parents, teaching kids not only to think independently but to act as such cannot be understated.  Again the execution is imperative.  We can all talk about it, but when it comes to Peer Pressuredoing it —  much more is revealed about character and conviction.

Nagata is not only coming face-to-face with the question of integrity, but has analyzed it as it relates to his profession and then decided to execute on it by quitting his job.   The ultimate — “putting your money where you mouth is.”  Or in this case, “where your pen is.”

It's not always easy to stand up against the tide, to go our own way, do your own thing, disagree with the bully, say no to peer pressure and whatever else all of us — parents and kids included – contend with.  But if it's the right thing to do then chances are you'll be able to live with yourself, sleep at night and have your principles about you when you get up the next day.

And if you achieve that, chances are high that you will be happy on your journey.


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