“Why don’t you get a job besides journalism cuz (sic) that’s not really a job anymore.”
The above statement came from a reader who commented on last week’s editorial (“Suppression Depression”) via our Facebook page. The comment, part of a string of many rantings by the same reader, is riddled with grammatical mistakes and a frustrating lack of punctuation. While I choose not to name the reader, I would like to say that the aforementioned line is just one example of a few different shots at journalism taken by the reader. Now, please allow me to explain journalism to this person, along with anyone else who might not understand this fine and storied profession.
First of all, let me say, thanks for reading. It is important for the public to stay informed on a local level. Whether you choose to buy the physical paper or click on our website, you are making the choice to support community reporting and that is one of the most important obligations laid upon citizens of a free society. The alternative is an uninformed populace ruled by a brazenly unchecked authority—something that only benefits those in power and is certainly not in the best interest of the working class.
Speaking of working class, the unfounded and adolescent accusation that journalism is “not really a job anymore” sounds like something that would come straight out of the mouth of a certain person currently occupying the highest office in the country. It is, in its insinuation that journalists are irrelevant, incredibly insulting and just shy of parroting the more extreme view that the press should be physically assaulted for doing its job. (See “lügenpresse,” shouted at many rallies during the 2016 campaign).
The funniest—no, saddest—part about a reader saying “journalism isn’t really a job anymore” on Facebook, is that the freedom to say such a thing in the public sphere comes directly from the first amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
Agree? Disagree? We’d love to hear from you! Send a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.