EDITORIAL: Despite the claims of some, journalists are not the enemy



Journalism has been responsible for the spread of crucial information throughout the years, even dating back to the 1800s.

Since the beginning of President Donald Trump’s campaign, journalists have been pegged as an “enemy of the people,” as pointed out in a recent editorial by The Boston Globe.

Amidst the accusations of ‘Fake News’ made over the past couple of years, journalists have continued to drive home the point that the free press is not, nor will it ever be, the enemy.

As I and many others have come to understand it, the free press is meant to be a voice for the people, not one against the people.

If not for journalists, how would anyone know the goings-on of this country? If not for journalists, how would we make heard the voices that otherwise would not be?

The essence of journalism has kept us engaged in the great issues of our time.

Journalism has been responsible for the spread of crucial information throughout the years, even dating back to the 1800s.

Journalists told us of the Pentagon papers, of the controversy surrounding Watergate, of the happenings of World War II, and of child labor in the 19th century.

Journalists provide us with environmental and political awareness of the present day. They also made us aware of the abolitionist movement, the suffragettes and their struggle, and the civil rights movement.

Journalism, at its core, is a synthesis of expression and facts. Through free media, we as a people have been able to express ourselves as well as absorbed the absolute facts of the current state of our nation.

While President Trump leads this attack against the free press, the aforementioned Globe editorial makes a startling argument against his accusations:

“Replacing a free media with a state-run media has always been a first order of business for any corrupt regime taking over a country.”

The mere thought of enacting a policy of state-run media—in which all communication is controlled by the state, both financially and with regards to content—is contradictory to the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

This same amendment has been a hot topic for years; for the government to infringe upon the free speech guaranteed to the population by the Founding Fathers is something that should set off red flags for everyone in the country.

Thomas Jefferson himself said that “where the press is free and every man able to read, all is safe.” Journalism is not supposed to serve as a threat to the nation. Instead, it should be seen as an integral companion to the democracy that was founded over two centuries ago.

In a previous issue, our editorial board addressed the violence on social media and how, in spite of it, the government does not have the constitutional right to censor media in any way. The following is a direct quote from that editorial:

“If the government were to adopt the power to control what is posted on the Internet, let alone in print media, there is no telling how far that censorship could go. There is also the issue of whether or not the First Amendment would allow the government to control the content that is posted on the Internet.”

Now, if the current Presidential Administration would like to continue to belittle the profession that airs out its dirty laundry, let that be their prerogative.

However, it should be known among the people who are the primary concern of this country–people that are our family, friends, colleagues–that journalists are, at the core of their existence, allies.

They are allies because they are us and we are them. Therefore, it should be no question that one of our own would never be an enemy to itself.

Read the Boston Globe editorial here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2018/08/15/editorial/Kt0NFFonrxqBI6NqqennvL/story.html.