This year, we were branded “the enemy of the American people” by the president of the United States.
The collective “we” references the journalists in the country, those who aim to share information and news with the world. We strive to shine light on things the average citizen may not see and provide facts and accountability for those in power for the greater public good.
Much like an elected official, we work for our constituents – the people of our city and state. During National Newspaper Week, which runs this year from Oct. 1-7, we want to remind people that what journalists both here at the Journal Star and across the country do is an important public service.
That’s why journalism has long been referred as the “Fourth Estate,” likening the press to an unofficially coequal branch of government.
In the era where “fake news” has become both a rallying cry to dismiss coverage one simply doesn’t like and a phenomenon that sparked a congressional investigation, the work we do is more critical than ever. Above the din of content tinged with partisan politics or fabricated by Macedonian teenagers, the facts relayed in real news from objective, trusted sources continue to stand out.
Despite the well-documented concerns about the future of print newspapers, more people are reading – and trusting – our news than ever before.
In September, for instance, JournalStar.com set a monthly record for the number of pages viewed by our readers. Last month also saw the second-highest total of users on our site, reading the news our journalists, editors and photographers worked hard to produce.
We put ourselves on the line, day in and day out, to inform you about the world surrounding us. Our names go on our stories and photos, both out of a sense of pride for the work we’ve done and accountability for the words and images we produce.
No, we’re not enemies of the American people. We’re working for them. Journalists do their job in hopes of making the city and state they call home a better place.
The Journal Star’s forerunner, the Nebraska State Journal, was founded in 1867, meaning the free press in Lincoln is as old as Nebraska. And, while our industry is changing at warp speed, we’re still committed to doing what we’ve done since the earliest days of our state.
Despite changing market forces and recent attempts to weaken the credibility of U.S. journalists, we’ll still be here. We aren’t going anywhere. We’ll continue relaying news and information to the public.
For this year’s National Newspaper Week, that’s something worth cherishing.
-- Journal Star, Oct. 15, 2017