Editorial: What ‘the media’ means for real journalism

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North Wind Staff

During the inauguration of President Trump, violent protests organized under the #DisruptJ20 crew broke out in Washington, D.C. Under the mission to shut down the inauguration, the group of roughly 230 people smashed windows and destroyed a limousine.

EditorialComic2_1At least six journalists zoomed in to cover the events. But instead of bringing accurate news to the public, they were charged with felony rioting. Despite being released, the journalists have preliminary court hearings scheduled within the next two months.

The journalists were doing their jobs in order to bring important information to the public. These arrests bring an alarming message about the freedom of the press and the future of journalism.

In a world where “fake news” is a phrase being thrown at genuine news sources and “alternative facts” aren’t facts at all, we need watchdogs now more than ever. Our freedom of speech needs to be protected. The foundation of trust between the people and “the media” has been deteriorating. This negativity has bled into people constantly bashing news sources with antagonizing comments and President Trump calling the media “the opposition party” on Twitter.

What does “the media” really mean? It has become an umbrella term for anything on the internet or television, and at the same time a scapegoat for an upsetting piece of information. Today, journalists keep getting scooped into the mess of “the media.” Accurate news stories get downgraded to the same level as biased news commentators, or even the same level as horoscope quizzes.

Too often people are sharing stories without checking for credible sources, a recent publish date, or even reading the entire story. Clickbait articles with bogus headlines and biased “alternative facts” get cycled through more people than actual news.

Freedom of speech affects everyone, and as journalists and members of the public, we need to remain strong in an ironic, upsetting era that “fake news” gets read more than the legitimate sources that President Trump consistently targets. We need to remain brave when fellow journalists setting out to report the truth get arrested by police in an attempt to keep the peace.