Mad as hell, but keep on reporting
Viewpoint by Joshua Fechter
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, April 12, 2012 19:04
Many probably imagine that working at a news organization would drive someone on a daily basis to shout: “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore” like Howard Beale in Paddy Chayefsky’s classic black comedy “Network.”
True, the impulse is there, but after four semesters and two staff positions at The Ranger, I’ve learned to turn that negative energy into something positive, something that drives me to report the news with a clear mind.
Journalists and reporters cannot afford to behave in any other way. There is too much happening in the world to let it affect us — or our judgment. We do this to provide accurate and fair reports to the public because an open society cannot function without it.
I could list many people who have sought to hinder during my time here, people who could not care less about duty to the public, who do not respect the basic notions of truth and decency, who act out of ignorance or personal vendettas.
They’re not hurting the media; they’re hurting you, the public, and hampering your ability to make rational decisions. They know who they are, and if you read The Ranger, you do, too.
I’ve noticed that most of those who wish to affect change in a positive manner usually conduct themselves openly with the news media. They understand that challenging the status quo to do what is right requires courage in the face of doubt and criticism.
I commend them for it and so should you.
Educate yourself about local issues and educate yourself about the world. One of the most pervasive, invasive and intrusive elements of society today is media so it behooves you to become media literate.
Learn your First Amendment rights and educate anyone who hasn’t. And don’t forget the message of author and New York Times reporter and columnist Anthony Lewis’ 2008 book, titled: “Freedom For The Thought That We Hate.”
I implore you to stay informed and take peaceful action against anyone who prevents you from doing so. It sounds pretentious, but society depends on the open flow of communication.
We also provide another vital service. We report on the day-to-day minutiae of college life and district business. We write about topics and developments that impact our students and fill in for the lack of information moving in either direction through the chancellor.
We aim to make students more successful and employees more effective. That makes both groups more empowered to manage life as it comes and how I manage to keep from sticking my head out the window and yelling.