Opinion

Trump’s ‘Fake News’ is an Oxymoron, Journalism Vital to Public

Photo courtesy of Monika Bauerlein

The term “fake news” seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?

We’ve been told since a young age that the news is credible, legitimate and real, but recently, the phrase “fake news” feels as if it’s being used too much.

Following the election of President Donald J. Trump, the media — specifically newspapers — has been under attack.

Trump has continuously discredited newspapers and other media outlets, dubbing established companies such as The New York Times and CNN as “fake news.”

This comment often comes in response to difficult questions asked of Trump or his press secretary Sean Spicer during press conferences, or Trump’s unflattering public approval rating.

Though the perpetrator of these claims is our president, his criticism is not going without backlash and increased public support of newspapers and reporters.

Since the phenomenon of fake news has become relevant to the public, the largest and most credible newspapers in the country have gained readership on an unprecedented level.

This is especially telling given the recent influx in online news sources and supposed decline of the newspaper industry as a whole.

On Feb. 2, The New York Times announced its record-breaking number of subscriptions via Twitter: “A record 3 million people now subscribe to The New York Times. Facts matter. Thanks to all who support independent journalism.”

Not only are Americans subscribing at a higher rate, but many are also using their voices to speak out in defense of publications like The New York Times, displaying the public’s ability and likelihood to combat the words and actions of our paramount leader.

But why should we support newspapers? Why should we care about independent, unbiased and credible journalism? What is the real role of the media?

The role of untainted journalism is to provide the public with important information. We, the public, have a right to information as much as we have a right to freedom of speech or freedom of religion. Without newspapers and without reporters, how would we obtain this vital information?

There is talk of journalism becoming a “lost art” with the growing advancement of technology, citizen journalism and the recent trend of newspapers transferring content to digital platforms such as Twitter.

In all honesty, I feel sorry for people who believe that journalism will simply disappear into the abyss. If recent events have taught us anything, it’s that something will always be happening and we will always need people to report on it.

Even if subscribing to newspapers is difficult financially or otherwise, the internet has made it increasingly possible to reach and support credible news sources. Most newspapers are active on Twitter and Facebook, too.

Personally, I follow many news sources with different focuses and varying histories from the Huffington Post to AJ+. By doing this, the news is constantly popping up when I am simply using social media, keeping me informed on all national and global events.

It’s likely the average American has begun to read more articles, search for real information and understand their role in relation to the rest of the world a bit better with the media becoming even busier recently, at least in the political sphere.

The public will always strive for information, and we will always need journalists to be there to give it to them.

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