Helen Thomas: The Voice of the Voiceless

Helen Thomas: The Voice of the Voiceless

 Helen Thomas has opened many doors of opportunities for Arab Americans in the media profession. Her expertise in journalism over the years has mirrored the truth in reporting newsworthy events worldwide, especially in the Middle East. I believe her goal has always been to educate and inform the American public about the reality of many issues that affect our political, social and cultural diversity, as well as the lifestyle in America. She exemplifies what the truth is in reporting the news, not as a cover up, but as a means to resolve conflicting issues that affect us all.

Isn’t that what true journalism should be all about? The fact that Helen Thomas spoken out of line at a time when many people in the Middle East have and continue to suffer senselessly, without any basic human rights, while in search for mutual recognition with peace, most likely agitated her and sparked her unnecessary comments.

The truth and facts in reporting newsworthy events and happenings in our world today has become, unfortunately, an obscured voice for the voiceless.

Helen Thomas recognized her one mistake and apologized publicly. Her image as a professional journalist, who has served as a White House correspondent, under many US Presidents over the years, should be given the respect and admiration she deserves among her peers and the American public.

As a White House news correspondent, Helen Thomas was always assigned the front row seat because she had a pulse on worldly issues facing the American public. She always had the knack for asking provocative, tolerant and justifiable questions to the President, whether he was ready to answer them or not. Without a doubt, that was Helen Thomas’ style of journalism, outright daring, and the courage to be the advocate voice of the people.

To deny a Lifetime Achievement Award in Helen Thomas’ name does not represent the foundations of freedoms and the Bill of Rights for which America’s founding fathers fought and died for.

It simply would be a total travesty of injustice if Helen Thomas’ work as a journalist and lifetime achievement awards did not serve as a model or advocate for other aspiring journalists, the culturally diverse public, as well as the Arab Americans in our communities today. Helen Thomas should not only be recognized as for her lifetime journalist achievements and awards, but also for her humane voice for the world’s voiceless people and while advocating their social justice, democracy and freedoms.

As an Arab American freelance journalist, I salute you and your decades of lifetime achievements and awards as a journalist, but most important, for your unwavering human ideals, and honesty in reporting the truth. In the poetic words of the Lebanese poet, Kahlil Gibran (1883 – 1931), he once said, “Say not, ‘I have found the truth,’ but rather, ‘I have found a truth’.”

Leila Diab is educator and freelance Journalist.