Saturday, 5 October 2013

This is the Sound of One Voice (Part Two)

I started this blog with the words in this title. This blog is my voice, my dying breath, my outlet and my escape. So to be honest, I thought I was done with a subject I started a few days ago but I have been forced to dig a little deeper. You see for many years, I worked in health communications - which to many is as loathsome a profession as one could possibly pick - the "dark side", the "spin-doctor"...a massive step-down from the ethical high horse I sat on when I called myself a journalist in earlier years. I know the values I carried with me, the battles I fought internally, the principles I strived for in my work - but all of that is immaterial to anyone who looked at me from the outside with a snort of derision. You see my mom is worried that what I wrote may hurt the career of the man I talked about in these pages - and though I could have been describing any number of travellers that day and tried as much as possible to take out specific identifying information - I know there is likely a grain of truth in that. And who am I to judge - particularly from where I come from - what he did or didn't do in the name of his employer. But something about my own failing health has emboldened me to speak up - in a way I never dared to do in my working life. Something more powerful than my twinges of guilt is telling me I have a right to cry foul - that being silent has gotten me nowhere and that it is the principle of the thing - not the individual - that is most galling to me as a patient, as a tax-payer and as a human being. I am not a powerful person - I have no voice with the masses and no power to change my own life - let alone somebody else's. But I do have a story. It is hard to feel like you need permission to tell it - and not exactly comfortable or soothing when you do.


  1. Where to begin.
    First, I don't I see any obligation not to repeat the comments of someone who makes them loudly in a public place. I expect most of us would describe that incident to our friends, and I see blogging as an extension of those kinds of conversations.
    In fact, the man's pronouncements should be shared, because the information is important in allowing citizens to understand the forces at work in government decisions. That's our duty. (And, if there are consequences for the pharma agent who shared his strategies with the world, that's his problem (and there probably should be).)
    Second, the 'dark side' stuff around comm staff is overblown. I dealt with some who were incompetent or who appeared to have decided it was easier to repeat whatever their masters wanted that day, no matter how foolish, but I encountered more who were working to provide meaningful information in a challenging environment. I have always placed you in the latter group. (And I'm sure comm people have similar categories for journalists.)
    Third, your mom sounds nice.

    1. 1. My mom is nice (and you know how she worries!) 2. Coming from someone who has and continues to speak up about what matters - your words mean a lot.:)