Stop the War on Journalists

14 Jan

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Words have meaning, and words have consequences. This constant barrage of labeling journalism as “fake news” has got to stop.

The prominent use of the phrase has led to open season on journalists around the world, including as close to me as Annapolis, MD, where four journalists were killed last June by someone who had a grudge against the newspaper. In our violent society, where respectful dialog is difficult to find among our so-called leaders, using the term “fake news” creates a climate where verbal and physical abuse toward journalists are consequences.

Shouting “fake news” belies the fact that most journalists work for small- to medium-size newspapers, other print media, and radio stations, working long hours for little pay. “Fake news” journalists are the ones who wrote and photographed that story about your granddaughter, the local basketball star. “Fake news” journalists were on the scene for that accident on the interstate near you, warning people of the dangers of driving and texting. “Fake news” published your son’s engagement announcement.

Facts you don’t like are not fake news. Opinions are not news; there is a category known as opinion journalism. Some people are unable to distinguish between opinion on news on television, radio, and print. Don’t be these people.

Shouting “fake news” makes you look like a parrot. And “Argh,” not a pretty parrot at all.

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