Journalists are not the enemy of the people

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By: Dylan Brennan, Columnist

Over the summer, many events have transpired. But instead of focusing on the nitty gritty of politicians and legislature that becomes old news within hours, I thought I’d cover the most stunning event I remembered.

On June 28, a sociopath murdered five people at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis. It hits more home than I would have thought at first, considering one of the victims was the husband of Dulaney High School’s own school newspaper manager; a newspaper I read every time my sister brought it home.

It should come to no surprise that this affected many people in the community, let alone the country. I even looked up former Towerlight staff members to find their social media mourning this event. I know that there is a lot of heated rhetoric towards journalists and columnists nowadays, especially with our president going as far to call them “the enemy of the American people.”

On this talking point, I won’t be as zealous a defender as most people in this field. I hope I am not walking on too many eggshells, as the Gazette shooting was a national tragedy, and I do mourn the loss of each victim, but the rhetoric is getting too heated, and I need to have my say. The Gazette is not the media as a whole, and the media is not some bastion of truth and justice. Cynical doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel towards publications, especially with the recent exposure of Sinclair Broadcasting up the road in Hunt Valley.

Never, under any circumstances, does this sentiment mean that journalists are to be shot to death. Just because I take action on an issue, does not mean I take violent action.

In my disgust three years ago, wallowing around in my freshman dorm, I decided enough was enough, and joined this publication to vent my outrage and disgust the next year. I have never had such drive in my life, even if only a handful of people read my columns. I know many people have expressed similar sentiment, and I encourage them to write letters to the editor and get the same satisfaction I have.

I am well aware that the Gazette shooting was not done by a political ideology, but by a deranged man who held a grudge for over seven years on a column condemning his confessed crimes. Nevertheless, the principle is the same. We must not try to destroy something key to our community and our democratic way of life, but try to fix it. If you hate the smug left-leaning pandering of mainstream media please write counter arguments, if you hate the calculated right-leaning ignorance of alternative media, please write counter arguments.

The reason why I hold the First Amendment so dear is that while it allows any amount of drivel or hatred to be put out into the world, it allows us to strike back with as much of our own talk as we want. If you have a grievance with the news, beat them at their own game. If you think you can do it better, give it a try. Journalists, no matter how they handle themselves, couldn’t be less of the enemy of the people, because deep down, every American is one at heart.

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