Opinion: I am a journalist. I am not the enemy.

Latricia Powell—

Staff Writer

I am a journalist, and I am not the enemy.

My job is to report the enemy. It is also to report the hero, along with every other variable that is involved in a story. My job is to give you, the people, information about what’s going on around us and let you decide for yourselves how you feel about it. I give you the information from all sides so that you can form your opinion.

In my profession, I serve as the middle man. I have access to information that needs be written about, and it is also my job to deliver that piece of news to the people. You have the right to know what’s happening, and I am here to make sure that right will never change. Where the water starts to get murky comes down to the individual journalists themselves.

Do you remember the game telephone? Many played it as a child. The first person whispers a word or phrase in the next person’s ear. Each person continues to whisper what they believe the previous person told them in their ear. This goes on until you reach the last person. When the last one hears what was said, they say aloud what they heard. Usually by this time, what they say is so distorted and different from what was initially said.

Lately, it seems like society feels that by the time a story reaches them, it has been so tampered with that they won’t acknowledge it as something that contains any truth. They decide to ignore the whole thing because they believe it’s full of lies. A journalist has an obligation to give you untampered, raw and factual news.

My job is to seek the truth and report it.

What I report may not be what you hoped to hear, but that is not my fault. You can take that up with those involved in the story. If I write a story and it comes out too “conservative” or too “liberal” for you, then that’s just how the story unfolded. I take the information I am given and present the facts to you. I can’t help that those facts either fit or do not fit you or someone else’s agenda or way of thinking. You view a controversial story a certain way based on what your beliefs and opinions about the topic already are.

My job is to research, interview, and publish the truth.

If an error is found in a story, any honest journalist will retract it and present the correct information. We’re still humans, so we are subject to make mistakes, just like any other person in every other profession out there.

I am not bitter or upset that people are shouting out their mistrust of my line of work and influencing others to do the same. I am worried. Time and time again, history has proven that the media is needed in order to keep those in higher power accountable with the citizens of our country. I don’t want the day to come where citizens are put in grave danger simply because they ignored a warning from the media— an outlet they no longer have faith in.

My call to action for each and every one of you is this:

Give us a chance. Read our stories first before deciding if you think we are bias or wrote with an agenda. Don’t base your opinions off the headlines, the companies we work for, or what’s happened in the past. If you are so hell-bent on whether a story is true, do your own research. Public records, witnesses, and even following up with news outlets can help give you the verification you are seeking.

If your trust is really so far gone that every story you see is what you call “fake news,” then let’s just start over. Let’s give ourselves a clean slate and get to know each other again. You want to be aware of what’s going on in the world you live in. I want to help provide you with the information in order to do so. So let’s forgive the dark past and unethical moments that have been uncovered. Let us spend today, and every day after, building a trust so strong that it will bridge together every piece of doubt that has existed up until now.

Again, I am a journalist. I am not the enemy.

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