Importance of the Press

Christine Odwesso, Staff writer


The media plays a significant role in shaping a healthy democracy. The news has an integral impact on how people view the societal and political issues of our society, and it makes us aware of various activities around the world. The media shows us the truth.

So what happens when our President degrades the media and starts calling credible news sources “fake news” and “the enemy of the people”? Trump’s negative rhetoric is terrifying, and frankly, it’s dangerous.  Convincing his supporters that the media is lying creates an atmosphere of hostility that can only lead to further division.  

History has proved time and time again that the first step toward an authoritarian regime is censorship of the press. The phrase  “Lügenpresse,” which translates to “lying press,” was a prevalent narrative pushed by Adolf Hitler during the Nazi empire. Now, “Lügenpresse” has resurfaced at Trump rallies and in social media posts from Trump’s legion of supporters with far right ideologies, commonly known as alt-right supporters.

North Korea is a prime example of why freedom of the press is an existential necessity in today’s society. The brutal regime is one of the most oppressive countries today; it is one of the very few Stalinist governments that exist post-Cold War. The North Korean government maintains an information blockade that obstructs speech and press rights to ensure that citizens do not go against its national ideology. There are ruthless consequences if one chooses to be defiant. Two North Korean journalists died in Yodok prison camp in 2001 for being the first to criticize the dictatorial regime.
America is a country built on the foundation of free speech. News media is not only crucial to democracy, but to society as well. Arizona Republican John McCain said that without free press we would lose our individual liberties over time. If you eradicate the media or attempt to control press, you lose diversity of thought. Debate and discussion is not only healthy but in fact necessary to grow and learn not only as individual people but as a nation. Having the liberty to speak our minds and coexist despite our differences is what really makes America great