Journalism under fire

The public has become very hostile toward journalists.

Malavika Santhosh, Reporter

In light of the recent murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the mass shooting at the Capital  Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland in June, the number of attacks against journalists and journalism itself has increased worldwide.

“The most valuable thing done in a free society is journalism,”  social studies teacher Mr. John Messner says.  Yet it is continually beaten down upon, more so in recent times. CPJ, Committee to Protect Journalists, states that over 145 journalists and media workers worldwide have been killed since 2017. Aside from the threat of being killed, journalists are also being censored, assaulted, and even imprisoned for their work.

When asked why these attacks are happening,  Catamount Co-Editor in Chief Kailani Jackson (’19), says that “In our political climate it’s easier for things to be black and white . . . it’s easier to vilify journalists.” President Donald Trump’s direct attacks against the media and the increasing violence toward it from the public is evidence to feelings of hostility felt in our current political climate. According to BBC News, journalists are attacked just because of their work. What they chose to write about and the opinions they express make them targets to acts of aggression.

The right to freedom of the press is in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “It’s part of the government’s job to protect journalists,” Catamount Co-Editor in Chief Madeline Endicott (’19) says. “The press is in danger if we don’t educate ourselves soon.”