Journalists are not the Enemy
What Mountain Vista Media editors have to say about the importance of Free Press.
Brendan K. O’Keeffe:
2 years on staff
My support for Donald J. Trump’s presidential bid began in July of 2015 and the three years since of The Donald simply being The Donald have been nothing short of riveting. I respect his plethora of achievements to date, including black employment reaching an all time high, successfully arranging a diplomatic summit with Supreme Leader Kim Jong-Un of North Korea, and Overhauling the Veterans Administration, thus giving veterans more health care choices. However, the one bone I have to pick with our president regards his attacks on the American press. The purpose of the media is to inform and serve the governed no matter who winds up “looking bad” or “looking good” at the end of the day. President Trump is attempting to give the buzzword “fake news” a new meaning, one that simply discredits and antagonizes the media for plainly doing their job. If he were to simply allow the media to continue to do their job, be it of dissention or affirmation, all involved parties will be much better off.
3 years on staff
One concern I have about censored news outlets is they have done tremendous harm in the past and present. When Turkish Prime Minister banned Twitter in his country, it not only angered those opposing him, but also those supporting him, making everyone worse off. In dictatorship and fascist regimes, it is a common action to take control of the media, influencing their people that there is only one right point of view. Luckily, we are smarter than that.
The press is a collective work, where we see differing points of view, and you, as a reader, have a choice of what you want to read and what you don’t want to read. The purpose of the free press is to inform the people, from the smallest of affairs to large political schemes. Without it, we lose that unity among all citizens, who want their opinion shared and validated.
3 years on staff
I believe that journalists are here on this Earth to bring truth to the people. We are here to inform not only the people of the United States, but the people of the world, about the good and the bad. Yes, there are journalists out there that are untruthful. Yes, there are journalists that are biased. I think that President Trump has used the term “Fake News” to “scare” people into thinking that we are all untruthful and unfair. President Trump has made it clear that any journalist who doesn’t support him and the current US administration are the “enemy of the people”, as the Boston Globe stated in their article.
Journalists are supposed to report the truth and leave it up to the people to decide what to think. As an editor for MV Media, that is what I try my absolute best to do. I want to let the students decide what to think rather than me telling them.
2 years on staff
Journalists are not the problem. Partisan journalists are. With so much misinformation in our world, good journalists are essential to keeping the American people informed. You can’t make an informed decision on who to vote for if the information given is biased. Partisanship in the news is harming people’s ability to form their own opinion. The best articles are the ones rooted in fact. Watergate didn’t happen through rhetoric; it happened through persistent factual journalism. Trump’s idea of killing major news corporations clearly violates our first amendment, and sets America on a path where the government gets to decide what people can say. However, his and many republicans’ anger have merit. Parading the hours of CNN and FOX News blabbering as factual coverage is absurd. We have to separate fact from opinion. To the news; keep your political opinions and your journalism separate. That way the free press can actually be useful to Americans.
2 years on staff
I’m a human. A person who has her own perspectives, values, and thoughts…but, I’m also a journalist. Immediately when people hear what I do their response is either utter confusion or annoyance. As a journalist I strive to make people heard. I do challenge myself to find the truth, to find the right voice, and to do it all with ethics. Sure there are journalists who probably try to find a story they think their audience wants to hear instead of what they need to hear. When stories are published with a purpose they are there for people to analyze, to develop their opinion, to give insight to a perspective, or even to amplify a voice or event that deserves positive or negative attention. As a human I make mistakes and I have learned to pick myself up from those mistakes. But when I see people who are trying to follow their passion and write what citizens need to hear, get shame for it or get called liars or enemies– It tears me apart. As a journalist I have a right to my freedom of speech and press, which is something that is so undervalued and should be recognized. As Americans we are so lucky to have it. The press is here for you, we want to tell your story, we want to establish trust. None of that is possible when minds get set to stereotyping us as fools. We are not the enemy, we are the underdogs.
2 years on Staff
Limiting News Media will greatly affect our country in many ways. Everyday a countless number of Americans get their information from either the New York Times, The Washington Post, or CNN. Leaving our citizens with little to no information will lead Americans to make uninformed decisions.
In today’s society different News outlets can be biased towards one side to another, however nobody is withholding the truth. “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom,” John Adams once said. This quote could not be more true, because if we had only a couple government run news outlets we would never get the whole truth. More than 48% of Republicans believe that “The news media is the enemy of the American people,” according to an ipsos poll.
News media is not the enemy of the people, in fact it is vital to the people.
2.5 years on staff
President Donald Trump’s cry of “Fake News” resembles that of a playground bully. Trump, a vicious child, continues to provoke the media at every turn. Freedom of press is a fourth institution of our countries’ checks and balances system- not to be cast aside. Transparency is critical to democracy. Although Trump glorified the term “Fake News”, he is not the only political figure defaming his opposition. In March of 2018, CNN president Jeff Zucker labeled FOX news a “propaganda machine”. Demeaning phrases are regularly thrown between partisan groups, but journalists as individuals are not the enemy for reporting the truth. Journalism is giving life to a story, reanimating it for someone else. Even when reporting facts, with passion comes bias, especially regarding politics. It is impossible to be an unbiased journalist. Large news organizations with clear political agendas make it difficult for the media to be taken seriously, especially those of us trying our hardest to conceal bias. They apply blanket generalizations and spread exaggerated truths to get their points across, inadvertently dragging unaffiliated journalists through the mud like bugle boys in their constant right wing vs. left wing battle. The organizations with less bias get caught in the middle as well. Although Trump’s “Fake News” phrase is immature and lacking factual backup, I understand where he is coming from. Claims made by partisan news organizations are highly publicized because they voice unpopular ideas and start conversations. I would rather write about something I strongly agree or disagree with than something neutral and fairly unbiased. CNN and FOX became such loud powerful voices because people disagree with them. News is supposed to be inarguable- something nobody can disagree with. The more arguments caused by left and right wing journalists, the more I understand how one could see their “news” as “fake”. While I do share certain beliefs with Donald Trump, he is wrong to alienate the press.
3 years on staff
The term “fake news” is contradictory in itself. The word “news” is synonymous with the word “fact”. Facts are not opinions and cannot be “fake”. Recently, there has been a growing opinion among Americans that the president should have the power to close news outlets that supposedly provide fake news, such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, and CNN. By supporting this, goes against democracy and infringes upon our First Amendment, the freedom of speech. This right has been taken for granted by Americans for too long. We read, watch, and listen to the news all day, just so we can go and talk about it with our peers. Knowing what’s happening today pushes us to look at what we can do for a better tomorrow. Without news, we lose insight of differing perspectives and miss out on opportunities to form our own opinions about the world. Sometimes, news outlets get the story wrong or the overall point is misunderstood. These small mistakes can make big outlets lose credibility, but they should not affect the reliability of news as a whole. News is essential to the way we live. It’s not an option or something that can be taken away; it’s our right.
2 years on staff
Should the president have the power to shut down huge media outlets? Is news the enemy? Shutting down the press is quite literally one of the worst ideas, the purpose they serve and the things that journalism as a whole has been able to accomplish is enough reason to explain why there’s no good reason for anything to change. Journalism is essential not only to someone who wants to know more, but for everyone, because everyone should be informed. A reason why so many people are so against journalists isn’t because they dislike the news, it’s because the things being reported on, being explained and evaluated might not fit or flow with what they personally believe in. The point of journalism is to give more understanding to the function that the news plays in the lives of everyone concerned. Specifically in politics, everyone has an opinion, journalism’s role in giving the people information about what’s going on is incredibly important, so people can continue to ask questions, form opinions and make better decisions. President Trump gave a different meaning to journalism when he branded it “Fake News,” and for the people who think what he says is true, they went along with it and said journalism is bad, and that the media is the enemy, all because he didn’t like what they had to say about him. But as the Denver Post explained in their response to Trump’s aggression towards the press, they simply state, “there’s no political filter or agenda belying their printed words, just a desire to inform the public,” simple as that. There’s no ulterior motives to undermine in journalism, not to say that there will be sugar coating or just telling the people what they think they want to hear, but telling them the truth.
2.5 years on staff
Our President, Donald Trump, has made some good decisions for this country over the course of his term; however, he is a figure that persuades the American public to turn away from news outlets such as VistaNow to provide the news that he doesn’t want to hear. He has stated numerous times through his platforms that we are “enemy of the people”, but this is not the case. Journalism is meant to communicate and inform the people what is actually going on not just in our country, but in our world. The news that we have covered since his election has not favored one party and doesn’t state a bias, unless articles were stated or published as an opinion. We are here to deliver the public with fact-based news that is either to recognize our president’s accomplishments in office and to point out his failures. It is time for our president to open his eyes and recognize our first amendment rights are not threatening America, but that his decisions we cover and publish to our viewers are the records of his presidency. We are here to speak the truth regardless of one’s opinion. As Thomas Jefferson said in January of 1786, “Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost,”. We are NOT the “enemy of the people”.
3.5 years on staff
Democracy was founded upon the idea of knowledge and power. The foramen of the political movement that continues to spark social change even today prided their ideas on the importance of an informed and honest public. The people have the right, the necessity to know the truth and nothing but the truth. The United States’ Founding Fathers agreed that the press is one of the most vital parts of freedom. John Adams said, “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom.” Thomas Jefferson said, “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.” The American press was created by the people and for the people, just like our very own government. It was created to ensure liberty among all people, just like our very own government. Penny press was created in order to make sure that every single person could access the news. Democracy runs solely on the voice and the knowledge of the people. The first sign of a fascist government is a state-run news organization because they can censor anything they would like without public outlash; it brainwashes the citizens of a country into falling in line with the government’s opinions. As Americans, we believe in debate; we believe that citizens need to protest and use their voice in order to prevent corruption. Partisanship is fundamental in a well-working society. News outlets enable that. News outlets allow people to shape their opinion on certain issues. News outlets let the common man’s voice out in the masses. News outlets provide truth. News outlets investigate the hidden faults and wonders of the American system. News outlets call out those who are hiding behind a mask of ignorance and hypocrisy. In order to preserve the fundamental ideas of the American Republic, we need a voice. News outlets provide that voice to and for the masses. While partisanship has divided our country’s opinions on journalism, one truth stands: knowledge and truth are power, and journalism permits both to remain in society. In a political climate blanketed in false truths and pretenses, we need journalism to save democracy and to recognize its failures.