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Journalism is essential to our freedom

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Anger flows through the raised fists of those who walk and block the streets in assembly. Crowds of people from all different races, genders and religions gather and use their voices or stoic faces to exercise their rights and speak out against injustices. Anger flows through the raised fists of those who walk and block the streets in assembly. Crowds of people from all different races, genders and religions gather and use their voices or stoic faces to exercise their rights and speak out against injustices.

The unseen eyes of the storm — individuals wielding cameras, recorders and even their phones report what they see and capture moments in history.

Journalists are our eyes to the events that have shaped our nation. We must protect our right to free press, because without a way to hold those in power accountable, a democracy can become a dictatorship.

Therefore, journalism is essential to the freedom of our country.

In North Korea, the government controls all media its citizens see.  Meaning they can alter it to make them believe whatever the government publishes as truth. They’ve manipulated their citizens, and have forced them to live in ignorance.  Russia and China also persuade people into devoted patriotism and push hatred towards enemy countries like the US.

Instead of taking advantage of the unrecognized beauty of free reporting, these countries censor media outlets to benefit the government, not the people. Without the ability to report events truly and without bias, the public would be left completely in the dark. We would have no control over what is happening inside our government, even though we are promised a right to speak up for what we believe is best.

For example, the coverage in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria’s devastation was an important aid in understanding just how affected the island had become. Without the reporters and photojournalists, Puerto Rico would be left to drown. We would have no information on what resources or help they needed.

This type of journalism not only saves the lives of those in emergency situations, but also ensures that those accountable for fixing the problem at hand actually follow through with their promised aid.

If we don’t have free press, then we may never see media like this. Although they may not be flattering towards those in power, they are necessary to our involvement in our country.

If journalism is censored, the masses could become incredibly ignorant and easily manipulated. News outlets are the gatekeepers of information. And while they bridge the gap between government and their people, they can still be controversial and biased from time to time. Fake news does exist, but it’s not as prevalent as it is commonly thought to be. Just because an article like a column or editorial holds an opinion, doesn’t mean it’s fake news.

Opinion pieces have a space inside journalism, because they can give voice to the voiceless, like those stranded in Puerto Rico.

If we want to keep all of our freedoms, if we want to keep our country accountable and transparent, we must protect our right to free press with the same pride and dignity we do for freedom of religion, speech and assembly.

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Marcus High School's Online Publication
Journalism is essential to our freedom