The Truth about Journalism

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The Truth about Journalism

An original printing press.

An original printing press.

Wikimedia Commons

An original printing press.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

An original printing press.

Laila Avery, Reporter

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From the beginning of the production and distribution of reports on recent events, which is journalism by definition, people in authority have been manipulating their platform in order to conceal their own unjust deeds and the deeds of others in some effort to prevent public backlash and restitution. An example of this is given in our own history; Benjamin Harris’ first issue of Publick Occurrences was banned and destroyed by the British government because he didn’t have a license. To date, we only have one physical copy of that publication from 1690. “Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye,” said John Milton, the author of the treatise Areopagitica that fueled a discussion about the freedom of the press in 1644, as soon as Oliver Cromwell and Parliament threatened and eventually overthrew King Charles I.

“Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye.””

— John Milton

“There has been more new error propagated by the press in the last ten years than in a hundred years before 1798,” John Adams said. Not being pleased with the way he was depicted in the Philadelphia Aurora, according to Smithsonian Magazine, he didn’t officially outwardly call the publication ‘fake news’, though that’s an easy opinion to draw from his comments. “Real news offends people,” BHS Digital Communications teacher Sarah Ray states, and that’s the truth: news exposes and brings light to what ordinary citizens may be missing. Today, we still have regulations on that, especially as a student newspaper. Is the freedom of the press, protected by the USA’s First Amendment, really valid? Though less rigorous in stipulation than Britain, there are things that the general population doesn’t know that journalists aren’t authorized to tell them. In more specific terms, there are things that they absolutely may not speak of–especially in order to protect their well being.

An example of this is Elijah Parish Lovejoy, described, “American journalism’s first martyr,” by the Seattle Times. He was a publisher and Presbyterian minister that spoke against slavery in the 1830’s. His words were met by the actions of mobs that resolved to destroy his printing presses, and ultimately, his life. The widespread use of information has always been limited, and now clouded by the trivial happenings in celeb lives, America falls deeper and deeper into the dark, unfortunately, in a time where her citizens need to know about their surroundings most.