It is no secret that the current political and social climate reflects a large distrust toward mass media. However, the many journalists who strive to provide only the most accurate and unbiased information are being overshadowed by petty quarrels.
According to a Knight Foundation and Gallup poll released in September 2018, most U.S. adults say they have lost trust in the news media.
The survey found that 45 percent cited “fake news,” a term often used for anything which contradicts one’s own views, as a reason for their discontent with the media.
Given the language surrounding the media, this is not a surprise.
This mistrust trickles down from big news sources to what can be considered the microlevel: student news publications such as The Alestle.
As student journalists, we are constantly feeling the repercussions from rhetoric which often discredits the media at large.
Often, these repercussions can take a personal toll on our staff, even though we have to be well-versed in keeping our emotions and opinions out of our work in order to maintain balanced reporting.
Many of us have experienced difficulty performing and completing tasks due to the harmful rhetoric. However, we get up every day and do our jobs, despite whatever adversity we face, because many of us love this job.
This isn’t a “take pity on us” article, but rather a carefully formulated staff editorial that introduces our readers to some of the pushback we face due to the mass crusade against the media.
To be clear, publications are not immune from making mistakes. After all, every publication is run by one or more human beings who make human errors.
We at The Alestle are not trying to say the media, including ourselves, are 100 percent perfect all the time — We actively work to learn from our mistakes.
However, we are saying that when phrases such as “fake news” are thrown around without regard for the individuals it might affect, it does sensationalize any problems with current reporting, including with our coverage.
We welcome constructive criticism — It’s why the email addresses of our staff members can be found all throughout the paper.
This helps us to grow and ensures we are continuing to provide the most accurate information and presenting it in the most unbiased way possible. Part of working at a publication is receiving criticism every once in a while — sometimes they are well-deserved.
When notified of a mistake, we carefully decide the best way to go about making a correction both in print and online. We own up to our mistakes, and we don’t take them lightly. This in itself deserves respect.
So, before dismissing us as yet another “corrupt” media outlet that’s fueled by a political agenda, actually give us a read. Help us grow and develop as student journalists by letting us know what can be improved, but please do so respectfully.