The aftermath of Donald Trump being named as the leader of the free country in the 2016 presidential election, is quite frankly alarming I must say. A lot of people, including myself, have started pondering on how his plans will negatively affect numerous communities, especially minorities such as the LGBTQ, Latino, Black, Asian, Muslim, veteran and disable communities.
But one specific group that I feel also will be under “attack” are journalists. It’s a frightening thought, given how the First Amendment is what serves as the foundation of the country, and yet, the president-elect is someone who has openly attacked and singled out journalists for doing their jobs. As an outsider who does have aspirations of working in the U.S., I am trying to stay optimistic about my chances of working here after this surprising outcome of the election.
Pursuing Journalism in the U.S. was a dream for me when I first got into it the program here at the UI, because of how unique American democracy works, particularly when it comes to the freedom of speech. it is a concept/idea that as an outsider, I deem a privilege that Americans must work hard to protect. No other country in the world has a written document that allows freedom of speech to that degree, many countries, including my own have laws banning or censoring certain speeches because they are “a threat” to the government.
My point here is this: Although the outcome of the election isn’t ideal for journalists because of the threats that have been posed at us for reporting the truth, we shouldn’t back away or be fearful. Instead, now is the best and most necessary time to be a journalist, because I feel the American people will need to continue to be informed more than ever.
Here, we have a president-elect who has outwardly attacked so many groups and his rhetoric is not only unconventional but it is filled with hateful messages, what does it mean?
It means journalists need to be the watchdog of the people and to hold powerful people accountable. I can’t emphasise this enough to American journalists, please stay strong and defend your rights before you are no longer in a position to have one.
My reflection was inspired from this post on the Washington Post.