The perspective on journalism from a student-journalist

Stephanie Ma, Staff Writer

Is journalism still helpful in this day and age? Most people I’ve tried handing the school paper to think not.


As a student-journalist, I hate to agree, but mainstream journalism seems to grow more corrupt by the day. Even a Wichita Eagle sportswriter felt the need to stir up a reaction with an article about high school volleyball. 


The industry that once dedicated itself to providing everyone with the truth now clings to its audience, begging for attention like a needy girlfriend. Viewers complain about click bait, yet they led its emergence.


Journalists sensationalize the truth to get views because only the most outrageous sound bites can snatch attention from viewers nowadays. Now, many simply ignore the news because it’s either too boring or too biased.


Journalists have done some great things for this country, but they can only help society as much as people will let them. Viewers must meet them halfway (by actually viewing their work) to keep the news industry in check and too many just don’t care anymore.


This viral indifference is defacing journalism and it makes me sick. It makes me not want to be a journalist because it’s just not worth the trouble of boarding this sinking ship.  


Inaction from viewers and journalists has only fueled this problem because they both expect change, but neither one will make the first move. The downfall of journalism is pretty bad, but where it stemmed from is even worse.


Extreme political correctness has almost encouraged this country to run away from its problems. Tiptoeing around topics we desperately need to talk about is cowardice at its most destructive level.


The conflict we avoid gives us the illusion of improvement while it really just pushes us further down this cowardly spiral. Denying the truth in order to be polite adds needless strain we burden onto the backbone of our country and ourselves. 


It has led people to willingly lie to themselves, to fear the truth so much that they’d rather live a lie. They’ve been coddled into feeling entitled to be comfortable at the expense of the truth.


This unreasonable fear to offend has become counterproductive, to say the least. Lying and forcing formality into each given situation out of courtesy does much more harm than good.


The obsession to be politically correct has seeped into our culture and subconsciously made many of us too willing to lie — an awful quality in a journalist.   


If you think about it, each immoral act contributes to society’s destruction — even the seemingly insignificant — because it’s too easy for a white lie to grow. Since society is made up of its people, societal change must start with each member.


So tell the truth, even when it hurts. Do it for the good of this world and for the good of yourself. If you want the moral backbone of our culture restored, it has to start with you.