The activist is that person who acts individually or collectively with a group that shares his interests in order to change or keep a specific situation.
A journalist, not a columnist, is a person who fulfills his professional duties through achieving goals, which might look similar to what the activist aims to achieve, and that’s the reason behind the fact that many journalists and activists think that they can do each other’s role. As a result, the activist will turn into a journalist lacking objectivity, as he advocates for a cause and wants to prove it right even if it’s wrong.
The same applies to the journalist who tries to report news from the perspective of an activist who doesn’t see except the facts that serve his viewpoint, even if this is not the truth, so he will become distant from the objectivity of journalism.
In this context, it is difficult to believe that the professional and independent journalist could become an activist for any cause, as this contradicts with professionalism and objectivity, and the activist in the legal or social or political domain cannot be considered as a journalist, able to get compassion based on “logic and reason,” as selectivity in reporting is not a professional approach, and will never be judged as credible, no matter how true it is.
When the activist will play the role of a journalist he will suffer of an identity conflict, as he believes in specific ideas while he is asked to be as neutral as possible, while many journalists, who became activists, did it for the sake of popularity not because of authentic conviction.
To make it clear, the journalist or reporter who covers the news should not become activist if he wants to become a professional, while “the opinion writer” has the right to become an activist at his own terms, as he reflects his own thoughts, not the news. As for the activist, he can advocate for the cause he likes without pretending to be a journalist to fool recipients that he is objective.