May 3 was World Press Freedom Day. Now more than ever, it is important to recognize the integral role of journalists in our world. Journalists provide a ‘voice for the voiceless,’ and shed light on important events going on in the world. Journalists uncover the truth, and support democracy in the world.
Good journalism is vital to a society. Amid a culture of sensationalism and TV-driven news, we still see journalists in the world working to provide people with facts. Amid the constant berading from President Trump, journalists still prevail.
President Trump’s relations with the press are nearly comical. On March 20, famed reporter Peter Alexander asked Trump what his message was to Americans who are fearful of the virus. Rather than responding diplomatically and easing their fears, Trump replied, “I say that you’re a terrible reporter -- that’s what I say.” Throughout this pandemic, there have been countless examples of Trump lashing out at reporters. Here is an article with various examples.
I can acknowledge that some media sources are biased, such as CNN, which is paralleled by Fox News. Their viewers want to hear certain messages. One way in which this is apparent is how both sides are currently covering the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden. While CNN plays the clip of Joe Biden firmly denying the allegations, Fox News often plays videos of Biden stuttering, or relates this issue to how Democrats attacked Kavanaugh.
Journalists have the power to sway audiences, especially now. People are lost and confused, and extremely impressionable. It is a journalist’s duty to report facts, and not to mislead the public. The Willis Hall Herald operates on a tremendously smaller scale, but some of the principles that apply to leadings newspapers apply to us as well.
While North Cross undergoes tremendous changes in terms of the renovation, personnel, and more, it is important to strive to voice the truth, while supporting our truth with facts. Oftentimes, in a small school, facts can be detrimental, or even misleading. Which facts do we choose to report? We do not ever want to offend our institution, but how do we get people to read the paper? The balance is difficult, and often not reached correctly sometimes.
This article about the vitality of high school journalism deeply impressed me. Journalists are more likely to have higher GPAs and perform better on standardized tests. Students who took a journalism class in high school are more likely to have higher GPAs in college as well.
Journalism teaches everyday skills as well, some of which are mentioned in the article. These include communication, writing, photography, marketing, ethics, and many more. These skills are invaluable, and important to learn at a high school level. Likewise, journalism incorporates elements of the core classes. Any subject field is applicable to journalism.
Scholastic journalism unequivocally matters in the 21st century. Please support journalism at North Cross; despite our small scope compared to big newspapers, we keep freedom and democracy alive on our campus, and that is important enough.
Gracean Ratliff '23