In my Sophia Petrillo voice “picture it, the year 2018 and journalists are under attack.”
Despite my Golden Girls humor it’s not a joke, it’s actually quite sad.
Journalists are being threatened, physically assaulted and in some cases even killed.
So, to answer this week’s blog question I have to say It’s not just a challenging or exciting time to be a journalist, it’s a scary time as well.
For as long as I can remember there was something about being part of the news that pulled me in.
I got my first taste when I was part of our elementary school’s morning show.
That feeling was reignited again in middle school when we took a trip to CNN.
It wasn’t until Junior year of college when I really went after the dream.
I landed a job as a producer of our campus news show, Ram News.
From there I haven’t looked back.
I’m not writing all of that to just talk about myself.
I’m writing it because just as I fell in love with journalism at such a young age, so did many others in this business. It’s a career that they’re passionate about. True journalists don’t just do it because they want to be famous.
They do it because there’s a family whose lights might get cut off tonight if they don’t step in.
They do it so they can ask the questions that others might be afraid to or just don’t know to ask.
During this current political climate, I’m grateful for the watchdogs and truth seekers.
They are the ones who keep journalism exciting and impactful.
They’re also the ones whose jobs have become the most challenging.
Right now, from our national media organizations to local newsrooms we’re dealing with misinformation on social media platforms.
We’re also dealing with a lack of trust in news media — and that’s not fake news.
According to a poll from Gallup/Knight Foundation released in September, 69 percent of those surveyed say their trust in news media has dropped in the last decade.
See full report here.
When you have an administration that’s often at odds with the media, it’s kind of hard to keep or even win that trust back.
When you have people who only get their news from Facebook without vetting the story and just assume it’s accurate because a girl from work shared it—that’s troubling.
So while it’s exciting to take down the bad guys and make real impacts in the communities we live in—the challenges cannot be ignored. We have to work even harder these days to keep from being silenced.
We have to prove our value like never before.