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The Tiger Print is Fake News

Dismissal of media is unnecessary, damaging

Julie Freijat, News editor

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In the last two years, among chaotic government affairs and a brutal election cycle, the United States has witnessed the chastising of its media. This scolding, while it may have been initially necessary in nature, has evolved into an attack on the freedom of the press and the innate principles of our republic.

Before I begin, let it be clear that the opinions I have will be affected by the fact that I am a student journalist. The opinions I have will be affected by my upbringing, my race, my religious or political affiliation, my age, my sex, my socioeconomic class and whatever else you chose to identify me with.

My opinions may be critical of you or your beliefs. You can dismiss what I write or say as untrue under any objection you have regarding the makeup of my personality and morality. Or, you can associate the entire staff of the Tiger Print with the opinions written in this article. You know, because we all wrote this — that’s why my name is on it.

This is the kind of disclaimer I find myself having to make every time I open my mouth or begin to write a story. Thanks, Blue Valley.

But in terms of the United States, the world of journalism has been and is under attack. Just recently, President Donald Trump has taken it upon himself to dismiss his critics as “fake news,” a term that gained popularity after the spread of propaganda and misinformation during the 2016 presidential election.

But his usage of the word extends far beyond a simple dismissal.

Attacking the media accomplishes nothing. The reason journalism exists is to give a voice to the common people. The media is the last defense we have against a government that won’t hold itself accountable for its faults. To attack true journalism is to attack the fundamentals that our country was founded on.

The media is biased. That is a truth accepted by many — including journalists. However, there are plenty of media sources in the world that produce excellent work, you just have to put effort into retrieving information from reliable networks. And often, you will receive information you do not want to hear.

When our government begins lashing out against criticism, it says more about their problem-solving skills than it does about the media.

Calling national polls that prove a public disapproving of its president “fake news” is childish. And even then, I know children who would have the sense not to say something like that.

This is not to say we cannot be critical of the mainstream media — in fact, criticism can help build strong foundations and higher standards for our journalists.

However, the idea that “fake news” is whatever we don’t agree with is ridiculous.

The idea that opinion articles can invalidate someone’s journalistic integrity is ridiculous.

“Fake news” is news that is not real.

It is not news that is critical of you. It is not news you’d rather not hear.

It’s time we realize that, quite often, journalism is here to inform us. It is here to remind us that we can’t ignore the problem anymore.

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The news site of Blue Valley High School
The Tiger Print is Fake News