Attack on journalists unjustifed
March 10, 2017
Filed under Opinion
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Journalistic integrity is an ideal that we, as a student publication, take just as seriously as professional newspapers such as The New York Times. As journalists, our job is to inform and engage readers rather than to position our writing based on personal biases. While we may not always agree on the issues as a staff (certainly when it comes to political matters), one thing we take offense with is distrust placed in credible news sources and the rise of fake news outlets under the Trump administration.
To be clear, this concern has little to do with the actual policies President Trump has enacted during his first months of presidency. That is to be reserved for personal judgment. Rather, the idea behind “fake news” and Trump’s incessant ability to self- authenticate fake news that suits his interest is what bothers us.
In a world dominated by social media, anyone and everyone is a reporter. Fake news stems from click-based websites that report stories which sound just real enough to warrant a scroll through and guarantee the author ad revenue.
One fake news source from which Trump gleaned his information posted false statistics regarding voter fraud in last November’s election. Trump’s use of Twitter, a website he has so closely tied his identity to, has allowed him to validate false information for a wide audience. Via Twitter, Trump has claimed he will launch “a major investigation” into voter fraud regardless of multiple organizations and news sources such as factcheck.org and CNN stating that no such evidence has been provided to support him.
In turn, Trump’s response has been to neglect this information and pin criticism toward him on a “liberal bias.”
Liberal bias in the media is not nearly as common as Trump would like Americans to believe. He also rejects the idea of a conservative bias. On multiple occasions he has refused to talk to non-conservative publications.
In a world where fake news is almost as commonplace as actual reporting, and our own president has launched an attack on media correspondents, we feel attacked. As journalists, it is more important than ever for us to be beacons of truth.