Dear West Chester,
Our second week of “editorial letters” introduces the conversation of journalistic freedom, the safety of journalists and whether these two topics are mutually exclusive. We have quoted from the Boston Globe’s piece, “Journalists are not the enemy,” to respond to.
The press is necessary to a free society because it does not implicitly trust leaders — from the local planning board to the White House … There was once broad, bipartisan, intergenerational agreement in the United States that the press played this important role. Yet that view is no longer shared by many Americans.
Olivia: Our Founding Fathers would be ashamed to see the breakdown of civility and the barrage of attacks on the institution of free press they fought so hard to create.
Kirsten: We can’t progress as a society if all of its members always blindly accept what’s going on in the world. We can’t always assume that the people in charge are doing what’s right. Maybe the rapid development of technology and the ease with which fake news is spread is the culprit to American’s inclination to overlook the importance of the press. It’s really a shame that the people have lost a sense of passion for free press.
Eric: Questioning authority should always be practiced, whether or not a leader is good or bad, because the moment a society turns to blind support is when we open ourselves to ethno-nationalism, fascism and dictatorships. To have someone maintaining an opposing viewpoint is the true indication of a free nation, and journalism provides the most immediate access to this practice.
Casey: You know, once, when I was toying with having a blog, I thought to myself “how funny would it be if I, a journalist, wrote an article entitled, ‘Journalist Takes a Lie Detector Test’” … to see it continue to escalate is not only disheartening, it’s baffling. It almost makes me glad I’m not interested in making waves (politically), but even that rationale scares me because then I wonder how long it’ll take for everyone to decide they won’t “make waves”, either. So I guess all I can say is that I hope we become/raise a generation of really strong people who become journalists and continue to make waves despite the potential danger that comes with that.
As always, thanks for reading, and I hope our paper gives light to why exactly free press is so important.
The Quad Staff