Truth in journalism

The fear of the people turns journalism into an enemy.


“Get the truth and print it”, John S. Knight.

Woodward and Bernstein. Cronkite. Murrow. Wells. These names, unfamiliar to most, are of the highest importance to young journalists. They are the inspiration to those who truly want only to report news; those who feel a rush at the thought of a breaking story; those who will risk everything to get the “scoop.” Nowadays, journalism and the name of the press have been slandered, tainted, tarnished. An institution once so great, it’s name, now drenched in fraudulence. Why?

News organizations today don’t have their priorities straight. The news that we are receiving isn’t news, it’s opinion and ranting.  News, unless it is specifically an opinion piece, needs to be 100 percent unbiased reporting of events. Award-winning news organizations are turning into nothing more than sleazy tabloids. We hear more about which Kardashian is having a baby and what it’s weird name is than we hear about Aretha Franklin dying or the 300 priests who were exposed for molestation. I am ashamed, not because I am a journalist, but because others who were once like me, students ready to get out in the world and report what’s real, have sold out. They have lost their integrity. No one wants to report the real news anymore. They want what makes money, and controversy creates cash. It’s as if they’ve become overglorified paparazzi.

It’s not completely their fault. The name of journalism is, as I stated before, being slandered. People have lost their faith in something which was once so trusted. They’re protesting the news, calling it fake because it doesn’t tell them what they want to hear. They want the drama and the scandals and the messed up politics because who wants to hear about sexual assault or death or tragedy or any of the real news that’s happening and going on in the world? That stuff’s too sad anyway.

After so much unfaithfulness to the press, why would they want to continue printing what’s true and what is real news when the drama and the things so ridiculous they are hard to fathom are much more eye-grabbing? Journalists have been made to look like the enemy when all they did was their job, but some of them truly became the enemy when they stopped printing news and starting sharing opinions.

It may sound as if I am attacking all of journalism, but no, I’m not. I am taking a stand against what is destroying my ideas and the ideas of others like me for the future. Journalism is the search for what is hidden, it is the fight for what is right, it is telling it like it is even though no one wants to hear it like that. It is a journalist’s job to tell you the truth of what is happening in the world, and if they are doing anything but, they are not a journalist. Journalists are willing to have their name destroyed, they are willing to look danger in the eye and smile, they’re proud to be called fake because if you’re branded as “fake news”, it means you’re doing your job right.

A journalist’s job is to be in the know and the first to know when something happens, a journalist’s job is to introduce you to those you may not know who are doing extraordinary things or those who may need your help, it is a journalist’s job to tell you what you need to know to keep yourself, your friends, your family safe in a world filled with detriment. Journalism is not the enemy, it is heroism. Every writer, reporter, cameraman, and so on are the instruments of justice in America. Their words control everyday life, and only a true journalist knows how to use that power right.