A Letter From the Editors

Journalistic integrity is one of the first things we learned in high school journalism. Principles like honesty make up the very foundation of fair news reporting. 

While we students prepared to enter the professional world abiding by these standards of integrity, huge media outlets turned corporate and absolved their morals instead.

While media giants like Fox News, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and the L.A. Times are not comparable to a mere high school newspaper, they should be held to the same moral expectations. 

One of the issues that plagues these news sources is the fact that they are owned by billionaires with agendas of their own. 

90% of the media is owned by just six corporations: AT&T, Disney, Viacom, CBS, Newscorp and Comcast. What are their motivations? Why do some billionaires want to capitalize off of what we consumers read? How is it possible to drive out corruption in corporations that are spread so thin that oversight is neglected? 

The only people that benefit from media privatization are the few who can afford to control it. Billionaire and former president Donald Trump came under fire for paying the National Enquirer for the rights to a story about his affair with model Karen McDougal. In a practice known as “catch and kill,” the story never saw the light of day. By buying the rights to the story, no other news sources were permitted to publish about it, proving that people with money have the power to censor the media. 

Not only does this influence the political climate, but one could argue that it violates the American right to freedom of the press and our right to knowledge of the truth.

To students who have been taught the importance of covering stories from all angles, professional journalism seems like a moral step backward. 

It feels hopeless to try so hard to uphold our integrity while mainstream news is now just a pawn in politicians’ game. 

Journalistic integrity is not an entirely lost cause, though. Certain news sources such as the Associated Press and NPR are reliable, timely and most importantly, publicly owned. 

These public media outlets show significantly less bias and report any relevant news without censorship. Subscribing to news outlets like these will support the effort to bring back transparency and de-privatize the media.