Gabriela Enamorado/Staff Writer
When I was nine, I played a reporter in a school play. Since then, I’ve been hooked on the idea of being a watchdog for citizens.
Being a journalism major and a member of the PantherNOW team are some of the steps I’m taking to make this happen. Like all journalists, student reporters and columnists have a duty to inform their communities about the wrongdoings they see around them.
However, even at FIU, there seems to be a lack of appreciation for the hard work student journalists put into serving our community. Student newsrooms face constant censorship, budget cutbacks and criticism from the bigger organizations on campus. Most recently, our budget was slashed by SGA. Our student media often gets little to no credit for its role in representing and distributing information to our peers.
The responsibility of student journalists is to speak out for the students.
Many people don’t see the point of school newspapers. Panthers who aren’t communication majors may ask why they should care about journalism. They should care because the responsibility of student journalists is to speak out for the students. It’s important for students to have an outlet for our opinions, news and entertainment without the interference of staff, as a way for us to defend our liberties on campus.
School journalists are famous for political activism and play a major role in our democracy. They report on elections and uphold the freedom of the press. They actively raise awareness of events going on around campus, in the surrounding city and across the world.
The free press has been attacked in recent years. We’ve been called the “enemy of the people” and more by politicians including President Trump himself.
At PantherNOW, this has been a continuous problem for student reporters who have been accused of “yellow journalism” and other outlandish things in the past. These insults came from SGA after our paper revealed the damage they caused to smaller organizations in favor of ones they were a part of. When used incorrectly, this type of language wrongfully encourages distrust for the media.
With today’s political and global issues, the journalism field is expanding, and more people are interested in becoming reporters. It’s important that more students consider going into this field to protect both our free speech and journalism’s reputation by seeking truth and change in the world.
School newspapers give campus journalists a chance to refine our craft and experience pitching ideas in an actual newsroom, just like we would in the field. The journalism industry is competitive, so having this experience will definitely get your foot in the door. Plus, after graduation, many people have gone on to get jobs through connections they made through school papers.
Free press starts with student journalists who do civic duties for our student body. It’s time for their importance at our school to be recognized. Letting student media have an adequate budget is a start.
In these uncertain times, we are needed now more than ever.
Featured image by FIU Flickr.
The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.
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