As NPR and other news outlets reported, Time has chosen a group of four journalists and the Capital Gazette as its "Person of the Year" for 2018. The magazine praised them for their work in the so-called "war on truth."
Shop Talk panelist Will Buss agreed that the truth is under attack and so is the news industry. He said it’s time to end the attacks on both because journalism is vital – reporters serve as an advocate for the public and they separate truth from fiction.
As an example of how attacks on journalism have increased, Buss said a textbook he uses in class instructs journalists how to stay safe while on the job. He said that wasn’t an issue when he was a journalism student some 20 years ago.
Panelist Jasmine Crighton said it was the same for her – safety was not a major concern when she studied journalism. But now journalists in the U.S. endure physical and verbal attacks while in the field. She is glad Time is reminding people about the importance of journalism.
Panelist Rich Egger blamed the current occupant of the White House for stirring up anti-reporter sentiments by referring to journalists as enemies of the people. He also said conservatives through the years have whined about the so-called liberal media even though there are many conservative outlets, including Fox News, talk radio, The Chicago Tribune, and National Review.
Buss concurred, saying the accusation that the media is liberal is a crutch that’s been used by conservatives for many years.
Jasmine Crighton is News Director of NEWS3 at Western Illinois University and Will Buss is the Director of Student Publications at WIU.