Remember why we exist

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, August 2, 2018

I wasn’t the easiest kid to deal with, especially as a teenager, and I applaud my parents for putting up with me.

My mom used to tell me, “I love you, but I don’t have to like you.”

She wasn’t wrong. I was her kid, and she was going to love me no matter what I did, but there were probably many days throughout my high school years where she didn’t like me one bit.

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That is how I feel about journalism.

I love my job. I love my job even with the low pay, unstable hours and stress, but there are plenty of days where I don’t like journalism.

At least twice a week, whether it be national news or someone calling my desk phone, someone is screaming about fake news.

It makes my blood boil.

It makes my face red.

It makes me not like my job.

Any rational human would assume that fake news meant someone is reporting something that isn’t true, but that isn’t what is going on here.

People will scream “fake news” from the top of their lungs if they don’t agree with what has been reported. Legitimate news sources are regularly harassed by people in positions of power because they don’t like their coverage.

Journalists are killed in countries in places like the Middle East and Russia, because they are reporting the truth. They die because the truth doesn’t shed a positive light on the people in power.

America, the supposed land of the free, is becoming a lot less friendly to the press when they do their job properly.

I’ve received a phone call telling me I should look for another job because my opinion was put on the opinion page. I get not-so-friendly emails occasionally.

I’ve seen T-shirts about killing journalists. I hear it on the news. I see it on Facebook.

Using the term “the media” has become synonymous with bad.

It seems some people have forgotten the purpose of the press. It can be as simple as to report what is happening, but what is happening is not always clean and easy.

Henry Anatole Grunwald, former editor-in-chief of Time, Inc. said, “Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air.”

Journalism reports the good, the bad and the ugly. Just because it is ugly doesn’t mean it is fake.

Don’t believe everything you hear about “the media.”