Journalism is a necessity

The Robinson journalism staff expresses its support for freedom of the press

Often, newspapers compete with each other for readership and popularity, but today the Robinson journalism staff stands with the 300 other publications around the country who are refuting the accusations that journalists are the enemy of the American people.

There always has been and always will be tension between the press and authority figures, but the current level of animosity directed towards journalists by our nation’s leaders has resulted in a culture that conflates “I don’t like this story” with “This story is fake news.”

We get it, we occasionally may publish incorrect information. We make mistakes in our work; members of every profession do. But journalists’ work is published for all the world to see and we take our mistakes very seriously, owning up and correcting them when they occur.

False news isn’t fake news. It has now become a societal norm to attack the press when we publish controversial news pieces.

Journalism exists to ensure that people are informed and to hold public figures accountable for their actions. We are here to assist our community, not create a divide between ourselves and the readers.

Both members of the public and journalists are dependent upon the freedom of speech. Without it, not only can we not do our job, but the public is placed at risk of misinformation and manipulation.

The power of the press is a freedom that often gets taken for granted, but it is crucial to continuing our country’s democracy. Anyone with a passing knowledge of history can tell you that attacks upon a nation’s press is one of the first steps towards autocracy.

Our school newspaper carries out the same function as professional papers in microcosm; we exist to provide students with news and stories that are important and relevant. That doesn’t mean the stories we publish will please everyone, and that is okay. We exist to report the truth, and the truth is sometimes uncomfortable. The problem comes when people feel emboldened to reject truths they don’t like, decrying them as “fake news”.

Although our staff consists of learning journalists, we treat ourselves as professionals and hold ourselves to high standards. We aspire to learn at a level where we one day can be successful in such a demanding field.

We firmly believe that we are carrying out an important function by reporting on news stories of relevance and importance to our community, and we support the professional newspapers around the country who do the same. We thank the journalists throughout America who continue to do their jobs, even in the face of mounting intimidation and threats. Their work is vital to the survival of our democracy, and every American, regardless of political beliefs, should recognize its importance.