From the Editor’s Desk

We are journalists and we do our job.

Erykah Benson, Editor-in-Chief

file_000“Here we see the entire Tower News team protesting our new president.”

In this community Instagram feed of 193 followers, this video, taken by a student, had 264 views as of Monday, Nov. 14 at 11:28 p.m., Not only is this a grossly unrealistic portrayal of the Tower Newspaper, but it is a prime example of the growth of mistrust of journalism in the public eye.

It is hard to distinguish, in this day and age, the difference between fact and falsification. Real, dependable news is perceived to be a relic of a bygone era, and we have only left to wade through murky waters of biased media and skewed information. Studies done at the Pew Research Center show that trust in the media is at an all time low. As of February 2014, American trust in the media was at 24 percent, and I can only expect to see that number to have dipped even further in 2016. The reality is, we don’t get our news by shaking open a crisp new Sunday paper every week anymore. We get our news from an array of platforms: television, radio and especially our phones.

Confusion leads to mistrust. Mistrust leads to divisiveness. And in no other time have I seen such divisiveness than during this historical and unpredictable presidential race. This election, like no other, has bisected a nation.

We can’t ignore that. What we also can’t ignore is the idea that the rift between this nation has only heightened a distrust in journalism.

The result is what you see in the Instagram post above. A misunderstanding that has led to the conception that The Tower Newspaper is promoting or demoting one candidate over the other (or in this case, a president-elect) when in reality, we are simply doing our jobs.

The video featured in the post is of the unity rally held by students of South on Friday, Nov. 11. You may also notice a couple of staff members of The Tower Newspaper at the scene as well. Notice that they are holding cameras or running alongside taking notes. They are at an event that South students are involved in, and they are reporting on it.

So while the caption in the Instagram post reads, “Here we see the entire Tower News team protesting our new president,” what it really should say is, “Here we see some of the Tower News team doing their jobs and reporting the news.”

The most inaccurate notion pulled from this caption is that it assumes that all members of The Tower Newspaper hold a homogenous political viewpoint. And that simply isn’t true. The Tower Newspaper consists of a staff that has political viewpoints from across the spectrum. The best thing about it is that week in and week out, we coexist, we agree to disagree, and we manage to publish a paper to not only the school, but to the surrounding community as a whole.

To say that the entire newspaper is protesting president-elect Donald Trump is not only inaccurate, but unfair to those on staff who support president-elect Donald Trump and those who have accepted his election as the 45th president of the United States.

The entirety of this post is an inaccurate and irresponsible portrayal of The Tower Newspaper, one that was made with baseless claims and with little to no research. As a journalist, I refuse to accept this as, “News in a dignified manner,” as the Instagram account claims in its biography. As Editor-in-Chief, I refuse to let my fellow staffers be portrayed in this erroneous and unjust light.

For now, we will continue to report. The Tower Newspaper will continue to exercise a facet of the first amendment, freedom of the press, and we will do so as diligently and as thoroughly as possible.

You can read the full story of what transpired on Friday, Nov. 11 right here on The Tower Pulse, complete with photos, audio of the rally and student interviews with a range of viewpoints.