For many years, journalists had been chased all over the world by political regimes for simply doing their own job: telling the truth. Even though nowadays journalists are much more free to express their opinion, there are still some struggles that we, as aspirants for the job, must continue to face in order to guarantee that the information is spread in the safest and most honest way. On April 7th, is celebrated Journalist’s Day, and what we really should be looking for on this month is to make people aware about the importance of journalism for the maintenance of democracy and how governments and politicians should be on the same side of it, instead of being against the press.
Dictatorial regimes and times of war are just a few examples of historic events where journalists suffered at the hands of governments. Fortunately, political persecution against reporters is no longer that way most of the time. Nowadays, media outlets and journalists are bombarded with attacks and name-calling on their social networks or on the streets while they do their work. All of that continues to happen because of politicians who constantly disrespect and devalue journalism, and, by having a large number of supporters, create a network of people who turn against journalists. This makes our job as communicators even harder and helps to create an idea of journalism that differs from reality. Most of the time, these people claim that journalists are not impartial and look up fake facts about certain politicians to create news, something that goes against the most fundamental characteristics we should have to exercise this essential job.
It’s interesting to imagine why some politicians are so against the press. If we think about it, a government that constantly makes negative comments about communication vehicles normally has something to hide and doesn’t want it to be available for all the country to have access to. One of the most clear examples of that is Jair Bolsonaro, the president of Brazil, who repeatedly insultes, humiliates, and carries out vulgar threats about journalists and the press. Even after many reclaims from the Brazilian population during his mandate, Bolsonaro insists on saying that Brazilian media outlets lie and encourages his followers to think and act the same way as him.
Especially because of many cases, journalism proves to be so needed in this political scenario. Without the work of reporters, correspondents, editors, photojournalists and many other people in the press, it would be impossible to have access to as much information as we can nowadays, and consequently, to make the population able to analyze and formulate their own opinions. However, it’s a paradox that in a moment where journalism is an essential job to strengthen democracy, it’s the most affected and discredited in our country.
That’s why everyday we must continue to fight for democracy, press freedom, and for journalism to be a valued profession, once the society depends on it to be informed, to know about their rights as civilians and to fight for what they believe is right.
The article above was edited by Bárbara Vetos.
Liked this type of content? Check Her Campus Cásper Líbero’s home page for more!