Yesterday, I shared my latest op-ed for CNN Opinion on how my time as both a student journalist and a student newspaper adviser shaped my passion for journalism. And, perhaps even more importantly, it’s shown me the value and necessity of press freedom, especially in these troubling and downright scary times.
Some say journalism is in trouble. Their words read like scary headlines splashed across the front page of the morning newspaper: The Fake News is out of control. Reporters are untrustworthy and biased. Journalism is dead. And the “president” has even proclaimed that the press is America’s “biggest enemy.”
Indeed, the situation is dire to some. But every time I find myself fretting over the future of the only profession protected by the Constitution, I’m reminded that journalism is alive and well, thanks to the hard work and dedication of reporters everywhere, and that we need the press doing their jobs now more than ever. That mantra, the words of my college journalism professors, has never left my mind.
So, in that spirit (yayyy, journalism!), I thought I’d follow up that op-ed with a blog post on some other bits of advice I’d give the journalists of tomorrow. There are so many things I hope for young journalists everywhere.
I hope they know how much we need them right now. Press freedom is under attack every day, and things are escalating quickly. First, President Trump blocked reporters on Twitter. Now, he’s blocking them from White House press events. As the fourth estate of government, journalists as watchdogs has never been a more vital role.
I hope they know that their position also comes with great responsibility. It’s their job to seek out those stories, issues and people whose stories need to be told. They’re the eyes and ears of the people and must hold those in power accountable. Don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions – over and over.
I hope they know that they must do everything they can to protect press freedom. It’s the hallmark of our democracy, and a threat to press freedom and the First Amendment is a threat to democracy and a threat to us all. Where would we be without the free press? Where would we be without the watchdogs?
We must support the hard work of journalists each and every day. They ask the tough questions and hold those in power accountable. A free press is the hallmark of democracy. Read, share and never stop fighting for press freedom. Our future depends on it…
What are your thoughts, friends?? How can we best support press freedom and the tireless work of reporters around the world? I’d love to hear your advice!!! xoxo
[Photos via Unsplash]