By Griffin Jones
Grosse Pointe South HS
Division 2, News Writing
News. Fake news. The gray area kind of news you don’t understand the relevance of but enjoy regardless– Buzzfeed. This spectrum of information distribution is a topic that’s held influence over billions of people throughout history. But now, in the eyes of many in 2018, news seems it’s losing its credibility as a resource for information.
Opinion plays quite a large factor in the stories published and news broadcasted to the public. A popularized idea by President Trump, “fake news” has been a subject of much controversy within this past year as much of what is seen on news channels and websites is questioned for its legitimacy. And it’s good to question what is taught to you, because if you don’t wonder more about it, are you learning anything in the first place? However, such negativity and distrust for the media has thrown the struggle for social power out of balance.
The media’s job is to spread news like wildfire, to make sure people are well-informed on specific topics and create an educated public. It is not their job to spread biased rumors and spread lies. But that also brings up the topic of Trump’s Twitter being a feed of his political ventures as commander-in-chief. Is it credible to read his tweets like they were a trustworthy news source? Is it even his job?
So, obviously this is the current discussion of who gets to say what, and who has more credibility. But one major issue with all of this toxicity over media is its impact on hopeful youth journalists.
Within South’s journalism program, students are taught how to write specific stories like news, features, columns, etc. They’re also taught when these types of story techniques are appropriate. However, when one student takes a look at what they’re learning and how national news agencies work, there are definitely some key differences in what they’ve learned and how those skills are applied in the professional field. At this point, opinion is basically mandatory if a story is to be successful, and the only news that isn’t opinionated is the kind about natural disasters and things that impact everyone in the same way.
The Tower, now in its 90th year, has been a prime example of goodwill for the sake of public knowledge as one of its main goals is to publish truthful and trustworthy news. It’s because of this goodwill that South’s student press proves it’s deserving of the respect it receives in the journalism community in Michigan and on the national level. The Tower does have some opinion, however the staff and those students partaking in the journalism curriculum are taught the correct way to incorporate it into their news for the most unbiased and fair points of view and coverage.
But as stated before, the media shouldn’t prioritize opinion in national issues. The responsibility to form opinion is held by the people receiving the news. Professional news agencies have the job to ensure the information they’re feeding into people’s brains is factual and true, and put the faith of American people in good hands.