The field of journalism is not easy. They are poorly paid and, most of the time, have to be out of their comfort zone. Journalists are often rejected and always pressured by deadlines that they may barely meet. On top of that, they are hated, and that hatred is escalating.
The Flow of Hatred
Journalists Hate Journalists
“I get every day the confirmation that the only people who don’t despise journalists are journalists and (some of) their mothers.”
-Nassim Nicolas Taleb
Taleb is only a little wrong. Journalists hate journalists. Colleagues are not a big thing in the press industry.
A journalist working in a mainstream media outlet has to follow a certain agenda, while the independent journalist has his own agenda and is not afraid to show the truth. Journalists are always trying to prove each other wrong.
The Love-Hate Relationship of Journalists and Politicians
Politicians hate journalists for doing their job. When a journalist keeps an eye on the establishment and criticizes their policies, politicians fear and hate him; his path won’t be easy. He’s a watchdog.
When he’s only a cheerleader, politicians shower him with gifts and free travel. He’s a lapdog.
Verbal violence from politicians against the media is rampant. Czech President Milos Zeman turned up at a press conference with a fake Kalashnikov inscribed with the words “for journalists” while Slovakia’s former leader Robert Fico called journalists “filthy anti-Slovak prostitutes” and “idiotic hyenas”. Trump has called reporters “enemies of the people,” the term once used by Joseph Stalin.
In some countries, it goes beyond that: In 2018, 250 journalists were imprisoned across the world simply for doing their job. The most significant was Julian Assange, who was arrested for doing what a journalist should do.
Social Media’s Influence on Journalism
Journalists love social media, but does social media love journalists?
If the two have the same agenda, they will be fine. If not, they will get “Zucked”. Last year, Facebook purged over 800 accounts, many of which were independent media outlets. Some were accused of spreading “fake news and conspiracy theories”, others of “hate speech”.
Recently, Facebook and Instagram banned Alt-Right journalists and influencers Like Alex Jones, Paul Joseph Watson, Milo Yiannopoulos, and Laura Loomer.
Mark Zuckerberg is the private monitor, trying to keep you safe from what he deems wrong. On the other hand, authoritarians have understood the internet’s potential for individual empowerment. They see independent journalists investigate and expose what they don’t want to be exposed. They are arresting journalists for online posts or even banning their whole platform.
Censorship on social media keeps on piling up and the probability of losing the free internet that we have is growing.
The general public has developed a fear or overall distrust of the media. Politicians made them believe that the press is the enemy of the people. They no longer take journalists seriously.
This growing animosity toward journalists is a threat to democracy.
Journalists are Our Fighters
A lot of journalists are biased; they follow the agenda of big corporations and spread fake news. They are puppets to the establishment. They only care about ratings and are shallow.
But we have to recognize that a lot of them work for the truth. Many have died trying to get as close as possible to the truth. Good journalists exist, and they are not “barking” and “whining’. Rather, they are exposing the sad reality. They are defying tyranny and working on exposing hidden agendas, making sure we have a good draft of history.
They are more than messengers. They’re fighters, and they are fighting to make the world a better place.
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