Saturday, July 1, 2017


Recognition is the ability to take in the other person’s perspective, finding sameness and difference in the other’s mind and accepting it; to see the other as a separate self and the needs and desires of the other as equally valid (intersubjectivity). Recognition may be the deepest longing in a human being; and it is incumbent upon the analyst to provide it.

USA Washington Journalisten im Weißen Haus (Getty Images/M. Wilson)

Last month I was felt both ‘recognized’ and embarrassed when on June 19 Germany’s international news organization DW (Deutsche Welle)’s Freedom of Speech Award went to a U.S. recipient: the White House Correspondents’ Association. 

[This award honors a journalist who toils under great oppression yet continues to stand for freedom of expression and human rights despite consequences, sometimes fatal ones. In 2015,  the Saudi blogger Badawi (imprisoned) was so honored; and, in 2016, it went to the Turkish editor Ergin who dared oppose Pres. Erdogan.] 

Journalists continue to hold governments accountable even when told, as currently in the U.S., that they are liars who disseminate  “fake news.” I felt ‘seen’ that, even across the ocean, a prestigious news organization recognizes our plight and sympathizes and encourages us. I felt embarrassed because I had complacently thought that the USA would/could never allow such an attack on a fundamental freedom. Freedom of the press is the mainstay of democracy, a necessary watchdog on government and private industry alike. Hopefully, we recognize this.

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