Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Column: Voice for the voiceless

“Through their reporting, journalists give a voice to the voiceless, sharing stories of grief, hope and everything in between.”
(Brooke Luther)

Yesterday was World Press Freedom Day, but it comes at a time when most people respond with one word when I tell them I want to go into journalism: “Why?”

And as much as I wish I could make them see the importance of journalism the way I do — believe me, I try — I’m one person against hundreds.

Journalism is under attack, with “fake news” becoming the comeback for any piece of information someone doesn’t like. This was one of the most used weapons in former president Donald Trump’s arsenal, making it commonplace among the rest of the country. 

The fight against the press goes beyond words. On June 28, 2018, Jarrod Ramos opened fire in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Maryland, killing five employees and injuring two others. These journalists — Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Rebecca Smith and Wendi Winters — joined the countless number of people who have been killed while working for the media, and  every false accusation of “fake news” only adds fuel to the fire. 

But these journalists weren’t the “enemy of the people.” They were allies.

Facts and the people who report them are the backbone of society. Without journalism, there would be no connection between the people and the organizations that control them, whether it’s the government or corporations. There would be nobody there to ask the tough questions when things don’t look quite right, opening up the door to corruption. And, ultimately, one of the most dangerous things is an uninformed public.

Unfortunately, this is a reality in countries like North Korea. The government controls all media, manipulating the citizens into believing whatever lies are published. The people living there are kept completely in the dark when it comes to the truth, and the lack of a free press plays a major role in that.

However, in America, we are lucky to have a free press guaranteed in the first amendment. This ensures that there will always be people there to chase the truth and report on it, even if it upsets those who wish to cover it up. This gives the rest of the people a voice and educates them about what’s going on around the world and in their own backyard. 

Even when journalists slow down and focus on storytelling rather than breaking news, they are invaluable. 

We live in a disconnected world. In the past few years, comment sections on social media posts have replaced conversations, and it’s getting easier to forget that the usernames on our screens are real people. And when those comment sections become political battlegrounds, there is rarely any discussion about the people actually being affected.

That’s where journalists come in, adding names and faces to the facts they’re already reporting by talking to the people who have stories to tell. When they are shared in publications, it serves as a reminder that there are real people out there who are impacted by the issues we’re fighting about. 

Through their reporting, journalists give a voice to the voiceless, sharing stories of grief, hope and everything in between. 

In 2020, the world saw first-hand how vital this is. Journalists are the reason why people knew how many COVID-19 cases there were each day and how to get a vaccine. They are the ones who covered the Black Lives Matter protests and kept the public updated on the Derek Chauvin trial on a minute-by-minute basis. The lights and cameras stayed on 24/7 in newsrooms across the country as journalists reported on the presidential election results for days on end. 

After seeing this on a national scale, and in my own school as the editor in chief of The Marquee, there is no doubt in my mind that I want to be one of these journalists, so there will always be something to celebrate on World Press Freedom Day.


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About the Contributors
Madi Olivier
Madi Olivier, Editor in Chief
Madi Olivier is a senior and third-year staffer, although most people know her as the short girl who talks too much. The newsroom is her favorite place to be and she spent most of her time last year convincing Hale to let her stay after school for “just five more minutes.” However, if the door to C108 is locked, you can normally find her at gymnastics practice or in the kitchen trying to bake. Her speciality is anything burnt or overflowing from the pan. She’s so excited to be the editor in chief of The Marquee and to see what amazing, impactful stories her staff will publish this year. 
Brooke Luther
Brooke Luther, Photographer
Brooke Luther is a senior and this is her first year on staff. When she’s not swimming, running, or baking, you can catch her binge-watching Netflix with her dogs. She is excited to spend her last year of high school with this amazing staff and can’t wait to expand her photography skills.

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