top of page

Extra Extra! Fellow LOUDWomen Ambassador Discusses the Importance of Journalism


Rumors, gossip, hearsay. There are plenty of words to describe it. But we all know what it is. Misinformation. At school between students, at work between colleagues, at the dinner table with your family, or even on social media with friends, it is incredibly easy to let things you just “heard from somewhere” get a hold of your thoughts and misinform. While many times it can just be harmless little tidbits that are neither here nor there, sometimes what spreads around as misinformation can be extremely harmful to the general public. 


One of the best examples of this in recent times is the Covid-19 pandemic. At the height of the pandemic, people were in a constant state of fear, not knowing what was going to happen next and how lives would be changed. Everyone was hearing different things about it and had no idea what the solid truth was, whether that had to do with the cause of the virus, how serious of a disease it was, how effective wearing a mask was, or even various simple ways of treating it from home. But regardless of what it was about, it was misinformation


Misinformation can be incredibly harmful to society as we know it. In the context of the pandemic, the National Library of Medicine said that misinformation is a “powerfully destructive force in this era of global connection,” and false ideas can spread incredibly rapidly. The consequences of misinformation can be drastic, and they can completely change what could have been a good outcome in a situation had there been an effort to properly learn the details concerning the situation. 


In this age where it is so easy to fall victim to misinformation from every aspect of one’s life, how does one learn to figure out what part of what people are saying is right? 


The answer to that? Pay attention to journalism.


Journalism, according to Brittanica, is described as “the collection, preparation, and distribution of news and related commentary through newspapers, magazines, books, blogs” and more. Historically, it has long been a fundamental part of society. The first known record of journalism is a sheet called the Acta Diurna, used by the ancient Romans since before 59 BCE. During China’s Tang Dynasty, a bao, or “report” was issued to government officials, continuing to be present until the Qing Dynasty. The first regularly published newspapers appeared in Germany in the 1600s, and the development of the first English newspaper and the first daily newspaper followed suit. 


Journalism has since grown to be a respectable profession due to many factors, the main four being: the increasing organization of working journalists, specialized education for journalism, a growing literature dealing with mass communication, and an increasing sense of social responsibility. With the creation of official organizations for journalists, and the ability to learn and grow one’s skill, the responsibilities of journalists as beacons of information in society grew. Unbiased journalism is what allows readers to form opinions on what’s happening in their lives and use those opinions to make a difference. It can be a way to bring awareness to situations and spark change within them. The articles that journalists write, sometimes even taking risks to do so, are the best way to learn what is going on in your world.


One of the best examples of journalism being used as a “weapon” of sorts to bring awareness in terms of current events today is in the Gaza Strip. Brave journalists residing in Gaza are risking their lives to report on what is happening in Palestine. While a lot of what these journalists are showing is incredibly difficult, they also make the effort to show beautiful moments and educate on the cultural significance of Palestine as well. People like photojournalist Motaz Azaiza, filmmaker Bisan Owda (shown in the photo attached to the article!), and more are heroes as they are taking the social responsibilities of journalism and using it to uncover what is happening in the Gaza strip, primarily through social media platforms such as Instagram. Their dedication to journalism to bring awareness to the horrors in Palestine is one of the best modern examples of why journalism is so important today. Without journalists, we would not be driven to invoke change. Journalism of all kinds, when done with accuracy and effort, is the most effective way to inform.


So what do you do with this knowledge? Stop falling victim to misinformation, and try your best to educate yourself and find REAL information! Journalism at any scale, whether it’s for BBC, for your local high school newspaper, or even for LOUDWomen like me, is one step towards the world becoming a better, more informed place. Shedding light on the dark and finding truth in lies is one of the most important things in our society today, and being able to do it with the ease of communication we have is a blessing we must take advantage of. Go out, get intel, and inform. Become your own journalist. 




Sources:

  1. Nelson, T., Kagan, N., Critchlow, C., Hillard, A., & Hsu, A. (2020). The Danger of Misinformation in the COVID-19 Crisis. Missouri Medicine, 117(6), 510–512. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7721433/

  2. Britannica. (2019). Journalism | Definition, History, & Facts. In Encyclopædia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/journalism


I have the Instagrams of the journalists I mentioned here if interested!


Abhi Saravanan

Bentonville West High School

Instagram: @abso1ut3ly.abhi

Word Count: 835

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page