How To Refuse Fake News And The Journalism Blues
Start writing a post

Let's throw it back to the early days: 1791. The First Amendment to the United States Constitution makes my red-blooded, American heart soar when it says, "Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press."

For many Americans, this one measly blurb in the Bill of Rights is so patriotic that when I recite it, there is practically a bald eagle cawing in the distance with purple mountains (and majesty). The point is, we take pride in our press freedom. But the reality is, that liberty is under attack.

First off, back in the good ol' 1700s, our Framers contended that a completely free press was crucial to protect the public's advantage and to act as a check on governmental tyranny. This stems from the free press being responsible for the very idea of US independence. In the time prior to and during the American Revolution, pamphlets informed the colonists about the trespasses of the crown. The journalistic exchange of ideas was powerful enough to set the American experiment into action. Still today, it remains just as powerful. Our democracy relies on the people learning political information and making informed judgments with their civic voice and votes. This process happens through the watch-dog press.

While the importance of journalists not surprising to most, what is current and shocking is the hazard that freedom of the press faces. I mean, we all think of the current administration's disqualification of credible news outlets as "fake news" and Donald Trump's perpetual law-suit threats towards hard-working journalists. But this goes back further than that. This problem is political, but it is not quite as partisan as we may imagine. The Obama administration prosecuted an unprecedented eight "whistleblowers".

This all culminates in the disappointing results of the World Press Freedom Index. According to the brilliant Reporters Without Borders, the US ranks "number 48" for our freedom of the media! Let that simmer. America's freedom is spelled out in her most important document, yet our media is more censored than forty-seven other countries. How could this be? One argument is modernistic in essence. The more recent threat to transparency is a natural, governmental reaction to how easily accessible the media is, because of the Internet. Since most human information lies at the fingertips of citizens, the government is essentially freaking out and trying to hold onto any secrets that they can by attacking the media; this action henceforth creates a chasm of mistrust between the constituents and the communicators.

Do not fret, there exists a light at the end of the tunnel. To clarify, in this article, I was not talking about the cringe-worthy Facebook "clickbait" headlines. I would argue that these articles are not truly representative of journalism. In fact, they create an unfair cultural distaste for objective reporters. True journalism is a check, broadcasting the narratives that those people who hold public office don't want revealed. However, we, as Americans, have the right to hear all of it. While freedom of information is threatened with recent circumstances of net neutrality and the executive branch's reactionary behavior, the truth must always come first, whether it's the colonial era, 2019, or the future. To protect freedom of the press, we can support organizations like the ACLU, NPR, The New York Times, and more.

But most importantly, you, (yes - you), can encourage true journalism making a specific effort to be informed of current events. Ignorance of current events doesn't mean that they are not affecting you; it actually leads to apathy and allowance toward horrendous circumstances.

From Your Site Articles
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Robert Bye on Unsplash

I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.

Keep Reading... Show less

The invention of photography

The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.


The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers


Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series


Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?


Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments