Misinformation is rampant, that makes journalism more important than ever

By Emily Cousins | Staff Writer

During this election cycle, we saw a mass amount of misinformation being posted all over the internet. Joe Biden was reported the president-elect, yet people were echoing empty claims of voter fraud originally made by the president.

Whether you are a Republican or a Democrat, you should find it concerning that Donald Trump refused to concede, and that barely any Republican officials or voters spoke out against the president’s actions.

You should also be concerned that Trump tried to overturn the election with false claims of voter fraud. He has started lawsuits across the country to make sure certain votes do not count. If we are going to act like we are a democracy and give power to the people, then every vote must be counted.

Election officials everywhere were being interviewed by journalists, and all of them said there was no evidence of voter fraud. This type of consistency across the board should make it clear who is the one who is actually spreading fake news.

Since Trump has discredited the media to his supporters, they have turned a blind eye to good reporting and investigative journalism. Unfortunately, freedom of the press is one of the basic ingredients needed for a democracy to succeed.

Journalists hold elected officials and people in power accountable through investigative journalism. Journalists report the truth so the public isn’t left in the dark and taken advantage of by the people they elected.

Are all journalists and news sources equally ethical and reputable? Of course not. That’s why you have to do your research, and find a few that you like and can trust.

It’s good to have an array of news sources to get different voices and have a more full picture of what’s happening in the world. It’s absolutely true that everyone has bias, which is why it’s good to take a look around. But make sure you’re not only reading what you want to hear, because that’s when you start to accept things without asking questions and critically thinking.

The pandemic. The election. Sometimes it seems like we are getting overloaded with information about politics and public health right now, but that’s where journalism comes in. When you find those news sources you trust, you can click on their COVID-19 or election section and find out what you need to know without arguing with people on Facebook or Twitter.

Journalists are doing what you don’t want to do: sifting through all the information and giving you all the important parts in a clear and simple way. Good journalism is more important than ever with the amount of information out there.

Beyond the election and the pandemic, there is still so much information out there at the touch of our fingertips. That’s why critical thinking and having good news sources you can fall back on to tell you the truth are important.

Journalists are not the bad guys here. We are the ones going out and asking the hard questions and getting information to the public that they need to know.

Our jobs are critical to a working democracy. Before you say fake news, take a minute to read and research.