Age of Awareness
Published in

Age of Awareness

Journalism in Peril

In light of World Press Freedom Day, we remind ourselves of the indispensable work made possible by journalists around the world—work we overlook all too easily.

“Freedom of the Press, if it means anything at all, means the freedom to criticize and oppose.”

— George Orwell

This past year, the world has come together—whilst being torn apart—to, after so much tear and despair, recognize the unsung heroes carrying our shriveled bodies forward. We have witnessed healthcare workers travailing to save the lives in the millions with no knowledge of fatigue. We have seen strangers’ rays of sunshine sprinkling over a withered land. We have, as common individuals, looked to put ourselves to use in such throttling plight.

A group that people are so prone to take for granted and leave alone in the harshest of times, however, have not seen their due appreciation.

No matter what this world unleashes, journalists will, for as long as its existence permits, rest as the guiding torch for us all. They keep us informed with their superhuman power to unearth, collect, and disclose invaluable information from every nook of the globe, erasing all trace of difficulty. They have shed light on the worst of the worst, no matter how hell-bent those people are on exterminating them.

Yet, even as we grow skeptical over the shortcomings of an ever spreading mass media, we must hold the work of journalism to reverence and, as a united whole, safeguard what made all this possible.

Sometimes I’d sit alone in the dark, dazing at the falling dusk and wonder to myself where I’d be, who I’d live, and how I could’ve possibly gotten through a period so traumatizing like the past year without the company of news reporting updating me the state of our world.

Yes, news reporting could do harm or deal unintentional damage at times. Misinformation can—and have—misled countless into the dark abyss of conspiracy theories—many of which, at time of a pandemic, can prove fatal.

Yet, without the round-the-clock whirling our news feed, we’d have been agonizing in our own bubble, oblivious to the world outside us, smothered in fear and a never-ending tread of uncertainty.

What news outlets do for us is to keep us in connectivity. In an increasingly removed world we find ourselves in today, connectivity is our place for solace, a bedlam of people from all walks of life—carrying their various intents—and a piece of treasure we so easily gloss over until we lose it.

If you were to drop yourself in a world without the best and worst of media along with the best and worst they uncover, you will forever be trapped in the ignorant comfort those wielding power have confined you into.

In light of World Press Freedom Day, let’s hail the unsung heroes in journalism.

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Ray.

Writer for ILLUMINATION, Dialogue & Discourse and AOA. Writes about current affairs, social issues, literature, the environment, and more.