No, I’m not studying how to ‘do fake news’

Morgan Dowler | Cartoonist

Believe it or not, good journalism still exists. In fact, we saw a great example of it earlier this month.

The Pandora Papers are a leak of nearly 12 million documents that shed light on how some of the world’s most wealthy and powerful people have been hiding funds, avoiding taxes and laundering money.

The data for this report was gathered by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) — a group that has worked with over 600 journalists in 117 countries on its largest global investigation.

Inherently, there are a lot of risks that go along with working on an investigation like The Pandora Papers. As you can probably imagine, exposing the wrongdoing of powerful people like the Qatari ruling family, the Czech Prime Minister and the King of Jordan puts quite the target on a journalist’s back. However, just like with any passion you have, a sense of duty to do justice to the thing that you love often carries more weight than the risks that may present themselves.

Now, we aren’t here to tell you that every journalist should be seen as some knight in shining armor. Just as with every profession, there are good journalists and bad journalists. We’re also not here to tell you that The Baylor Lariat should be your knight in shining armor. We are no different than a student teacher or someone studying for medical school. At the end of the day, we are here to learn and fuel our passions and become better.

With that in mind, maybe think twice before you sigh or ask, “Why do you go to Baylor for that?” when someone tells you that they’re majoring in something that isn’t STEM or pre-law. Before you ask, no, we are not going to school to learn how to do “fake news.”

There are plenty of journalistic viewpoints that aren’t MSNBC or Fox News. If you find that you’re tired of some of the polarization that can be commonly found on TV or social media, this chart is a great tool in breaking down different outlets across the board. Essentially, this group uses judges who consider themselves to be on the left, center and right of the political spectrum to rate the biases found in individual pieces of a media outlet’s content.

Although our current climate may make it feel as if there is more widespread misinformation and bad journalism than ever, the internet and social media also allow for a larger platform than ever for those who do good work and present sound, truthful information. The tools necessary for you to consume good news are literally at your fingertips. If you don’t use them, that’s on you.