Why We Need To Protect Our Media

For as long as I can remember, the rest of the world has regarded the United States as a beacon of democracy and freedom. People are awestruck by the way our government defends the people when their rights, in particular their First Amendment rights, are violated. We can openly disagree with public policy, so long as we are not doing it in a dangerous manner that could incite something like violence, and not face any consequences; in fact, we are commended when we stand on a platform and hold our government officials accountable. I ultimately chose journalism as my career path because I want to take advantage of the freedom I have been blessed with so I can stand up for those who are silenced, like undocumented immigrants. I chose this because of people like Woodward and Bernstein, who proved that even the president should not get a free pass if they are being dishonest.

In the tenth grade, I read George Orwell’s novel 1984. I remember thinking how scary that living that way would be. It is not completely far removed, because it happens in places like Venezuela, where an activist by the name of Leopoldo Lopez is currently serving 14 years in prison. His sentence stemmed from his fearlessness in speaking out against the Communist dictatorship that the Venezuelan government has turned into.

There are parts of the world where there is only one source of news and it is controlled by the government; there is no room for criticism of the government. If that does not scare you, it should. When politicians censor the media, it means they are hiding something major, and that is terrifying. Donald Trump thinks that no negative poll in regards to his policies can be true; he thinks that there is no way the American people can disagree with him. For a guy who lost the popular vote by three million and had one of the narrowest electoral college wins in American presidential history, he still thinks that the American people adore him. When he calls the media fake simply because they do their job and hold him accountable, he endangers our democracy in a way that we are not ready for. It could topple our most important values, and I am not willing to give that up. This is not normal, and we must hold our own these next four years if we want to protect our most treasured values.

Colliegettes, I believe in our power to hold him accountable. I believe in our power to not let the insecurities of this administration ruin us. We are stronger together!