The Westfield Voice

The Student News Site of Westfield State University

The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

The Trouble With Journalism Today


In the spring of 2018, I began my career as a writer here at the Westfield Voice, as requested by a friend who was working as an editor at the time. I didn’t know it then, but I would fall in love with the art of journalism, so much so that I would end up changing my major from Secondary Education to Writing.

What had initially drawn me in was the idea of telling stories. Not like novels or poems but actual real-life stories that need to be told, whether they be the coverage of politics and news, or the minute details of the lives of people around the world.

But I’ve discovered a problem in recent years that’s concerning me more and more: how do you tell these stories when the media is owned?

This issue became prominent to me when I realized that The Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos, the billionaire owner of Amazon. My concern only grew when I learned that Disney owned National Geographic, my dream publication.

To me, the main goal of journalism is to tell things how they are, bipartisan. And while it’s almost impossible to be bipartisan as a writer anymore, the core foundations of reporting the truth should stand the same.

I don’t have any doubts about whether or not I want to be a journalist; however, it is discouraging when so many people fear and resent what the media has become. I can’t go a single day without hearing someone blaming the media for false facts and the circulation of hysteria.

And this isn’t the writers’ fault. The writers are responsible for reporting on whatever they are assigned, which is determined by the editor-in chief, who is controlled by the owner of the publication. When the media is owned by the greedy, the requirement is no longer to write the truth, but to write what sells.

We have reverted back to the age of yellow journalism in the wake of all that is wrong in the world. It’s no longer important to tell the truth in the media but rather to grab readers’ attention and make money.

It becomes discouraging as a young journalist to want to continue in my field for two reasons. One, I know my skills and voice will no longer be valued if I come to write in a large-scale publication. And two, I’ll be working in a field that the public no longer trusts and values.

I can’t even open up social media without seeing someone I know blaming the media for twisting the public’s perception of current events. How am I expected to keep the faith when everyone is telling me it’s all for nothing?

For starters, optimism. I love journalism too much to give up on it now, regardless of how the news is told. If I have the chance to tell a story that can resonate with just one person, I’m going to take it.

Reporting on the news is an age-old craft, and while its values have changed over the centuries, the core purpose stays the same: storytelling with the truth. Not every publication is going to uphold this to the same standards as others. But we can try.

And it starts at the writer’s level. I’m going to continue telling the untold and pushing back against corporate control over the media. Will it be tough? Absolutely.

But I still have faith in the modern journalist. Big or small, we all have a story to tell. And for journalists, that’s all that counts.

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