On the Importance of Journalism

Hannah Webb, Editor-in-Chief

Let’s face it: journalism is becoming a disrespected profession. Our “democratic” leaders, who too often double as influencers of our culture, pay little regard to the duty that journalism serves, as evidenced by a 2017 study that rated the profession as one of the two worst jobs to have in the country. We are losing the value that written word plays in our society.

Personally, journalism has allowed me the ability to find my voice and given me a passion for serving others using my own talents. However, the effects of journalism stretch far beyond the individual.

If Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward had never dared to investigate the Watergate scandal, the American population would never have learned the truth about Richard Nixon’s internal communications.

Slightly less popular but still just as integral to American journalism, Daniel Ellsberg published the Pentagon Papers exposing the American government’s poor management of the Vietnam War. Ultimately, his publication led to the landmark New York Times v. US Supreme Court case that won freedom for American journalism with the assertion that “national security” could not be used as a catch-all term against the proper use of the First Amendment.

It is due to the courage of revolutionary journalists like these that the truth will never be silenced. Without the dedication of such writers to follow the truth unwaveringly, Americans would continue to unknowingly live in a false impression of American history. Through their pursuit of the truth, journalists hold the government and other administrative organizations accountable for their actions.

Countless other journalists have spoken out on social justice issues through their publications. The varying opinions that these writers present allow the American public to understand differing perspectives and ultimately form their own opinions on the issues through listening to others’ perspectives.

In an environment such as Keller High School, these perks are just as important, but another aspect of journalism comes into play in a student body: the ability to tell the stories of a diverse demographic of students and staff. Through doing this, I’ve learned to appreciate learning from others’ experiences. Further, I know that when necessary, it is essential to give a voice to the voiceless.

With today’s political climate affecting the opinion of journalism, as well as our own high school journalism programs receiving little to no funding, it is vital that the importance of the industry is understood.

Without journalism, we would miss out on the truth. Not just the factual truth, but our own personal truths as well. As evidenced by the role that the past greats of the industry played in society, journalism remains one of the most honorable professions to enter into.


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