Before you keep reading, a word of warning: You’ve probably read this editorial before.
Maybe not this exact editorial, maybe not from us, but you have probably seen similar headlines on social media, unless you’ve sworn off all news sites for fear of stumbling across “fake news.”
On Aug. 16, The Boston Globe put out a rallying cry into the journalism world, refuting the idea that journalists are “the enemy of the people” and sparking a social movement from newspapers around the nation.
Students journalists around the U.S. struggle against the shifting national narrative that all news sources supply falsities onto their readers. And while more than 400 student news organizations have already fought for their reputations, we’re up against formidable opposition.
President Donald Trump frequently regards news sources with dissenting or critical viewpoints as “fake news.” While he is certainly not the first president to chafe against the press, he is the first to use “fake news” to discredit the press’ overall honesty.
But the press, no matter what the president thinks of it, is not the enemy. It may seem redundant that we keep reminding you of this, but it’s a necessary push back against the prevailing national narrative.
The press is the ultimate champion of democracy, for democracy cannot exist on a homogeneous diet of singular viewpoints. Democracy relies on diverse discourse and critical thinking, allowing people to consider all possible aspects and consequences before making a decision. This country was founded on these principles, fostered by a free press.
And yet, these nationwide attacks on the press have tangible effects in our newsrooms. Ampersand, our magazine, is grappling with the higher costs of printing created by President Trump’s tariff on Canadian newsprint and will completely change its printing paper just so the publication doesn’t actively lose money.
This is why we urge you to continue supporting the press through readership. By consuming news articles, you consume the foundations of democracy and the concept of “America” as we know it. Without the press, America would not be so great.
The press is a system of individuals and organizations striving, through the vitriol, to tell the truth. To tell the story the way it happened.
Yes, some organizations hold a commitment to truth looser than others, but we pride ourselves on our integrity. We are the next generation of journalists, after all. We have to be.
The press is not the enemy, but even while this rhetoric clamors around America, the press will still be here, gathering facts and writing stories to inform readers.
It’s what we’re here to do. So as we wait for the “fake news” ideology to die down, we’ll be in the background, observing and taking notes.