Look around, journalism is everywhere

By Sammi Silber, Editor-in-Chief

Whenever we turn on the TV, listen to the radio or even pick up the newspaper we are retaining news. Journalism is obviously, therefore, involved in our everyday lives. However, many of us are ignorant about how important journalism truly is.

In the past year, journalism has become an incredibly dangerous field, to the point where many refer to journalists as an “endangered species.” After physical and verbal attacks on journalists, including ISIL’s executions of many journalists, the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January and the backlash in the wake of Brian Williams’ false stories on NBC Nightly News, it is time to remember the importance of this dying field and how our words should not be censored, but instead appreciated.

First, journalism is incredibly helpful in life. Taking journalism in high school gives you many advantages over the average student. First off, you learn how to improve your writing, and this affects your overall academic performance.

According to the Newspaper Association of America Foundation, students who take journalism courses in high school earn higher grades throughout high school and their freshman year of college. They also score higher on the ACT.

Although many may point out that journalism is a dying job field and that it is incredibly hard to find work with a degree in Journalism, it is actually flourishing more than other jobs.

According to an April 2012 Forbes article, while the national unemployment rate for college graduates was 7.7 percent, the unemployment rate for journalists with graduate degrees was only 3.8 percent, showing that the field of journalism provides many more job opportunities.

My time on the Observer staff has also given me many useful skills. I find it easier to complete my English essays and engage in writing, and the Journalism program has also helped me figure out what I would like to study in college. Not only has it given me resources on which to build a career, it has also given me a family and a place of belonging.

In addition, journalism is how you get all of your news. Every second that you use social media, watch TV, listen to the radio or skim through the newspaper you are receiving news. The ones who provide that news are journalists. If there was no journalism, there would be no news, and you would know nothing that is going on in the world around you.

Although bloggers and tweeters are seen as reporting news, journalists are the ones who truly report the news.

Without journalism, we would not have the truth. Honesty is probably the most important part of journalism; as journalists, it is our job to get the facts and deliver the truth to every story to the public. Thankfully, as journalists, we have the First Amendment, which allows us to deliver the whole truth and nothing but the truth, despite the severity of the situation or story. Journalists cover the truth throughout a huge range of issues, from drugs in schools to political corruption, and despite the impact, fear nothing when reporting the absolute truth.

Though some journalists, like NBC’s Brian Williams, have reported false news, this is the exception and not the rule, and NBC’s decision to suspend him shows the unwavering emphasis the journalism community places on reporting the truth.

According to a March 2014 USA Today article, journalism serves as a watchdog role, meaning that journalism is a way to watch over government and other organizations, such as in the case of police corruption.

Never think that journalism is not important, because in all honesty, it is one of the most significant parts of your daily life. Without journalism, you would not know what is happening around you. Remember, journalists are secretly the ones who hold accountable those who power the world.