The never ending hunt for truth is a turbulent journey
By Olivia Tai and Ebony Estrada
Journalism can never be silent: That is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air. -Henry Grunwald, former editor of TIME magazine.
The future of journalism is in our hands, the younger generation. As young, aspiring journalists, we strive to bring awareness to the industry. With all the talk of fake news and slandering of journalism, people may see journalism in a negative light. We want to change this perception.
Journalism is one of the most essential elements of having a functioning, educated society. However, with the all the chaos and disarray of the modern day, journalism has been met with much skepticism. Cries of “fake news” run rampant, and faith in the integrity of journalism is in decline. The objective of journalism is to inform and educate. It is our goal to bring back the passion for truth in journalism and remember that it is a tool that can truly help the underrepresented, underprivileged, and those without a voice.
Women in journalism are vastly underrepresented. A 2017 report by the Women’s Media Center claims that while women comprise more than two-thirds of graduates with degrees in journalism or mass communications, the media industry is only one-third women. Our goal is to change this statistic. Historically, female journalists are often overlooked. It is our duty to give homage to these women and their dedication to their career.
Journalism can be an exciting and even dangerous career. Elizabeth Cochrane Seaman, better known by her pen name, Nelly Bly, was one of the first famous female journalists of the 1800s. She fought for truth and justice and took on assignments so difficult and risky that even her boss warned her not to cover them. In her book, “Ten Days in a Mad-House,” Bly recounted the injustices and hardships she faced going undercover in a women’s mental asylum.
Bly, with the help of her excellent reporting skills, managed to single-handedly expose abuse of the mentally ill, stating that they were extremely mistreated, underfed, and were living in unacceptable filthy conditions. Her bravery and determination captured the attention of the nation, and her book quickly started a national movement to improve the conditions of the mentally ill. Nelly Bly was an effective journalist because of her curiosity, drive and unceasing search for truth.
Ida B. Wells, an African American civil-rights activist and investigative journalist also deserves recognition for her contributions. She was born the daughter of a slave in 1862, during the Civil War. Wells became known for her outspoken reporting against lynching and quickly made a name for herself. In 1898, her passion for equality gained her access to U.S. President McKinley, to assist with the passage of civil rights reforms.
Wells took part in founding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), an organization that would continue the fight for civil rights for years to come.
Courageous women like Wells and Bly paved the way for female journalists. They truly made a difference in society.
The voices of the people are meant to be heard, and as long as journalism exists, the search for truth will never stop.
Olivia Tai and Ebony Estrada are planning a major in journalism. They are students at Miramar College.