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KOLI: Journalism deserves more credit

Column: Talk More

The increasing number of journalist deaths is evidence of the high levels of danger they face in their daily lives – Photo by Alisdare Hickson /

One of the founders of modern journalism, Lord Northcliffe said, "News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress, all the rest is advertising."

Many people think of newspapers when they hear journalism. But the field of journalism is more than just reporting news. It entails writing, editing, photography and research as well. 

The process starts with writing news. Then, it has to be edited to ensure that it adheres to specific standards and ethics. The information must be verified before publication. There are even different kinds of news, such as entertainment, politics, health, environment and more. 

In the digital world we live in today, physical newspapers are outdated. People are more likely to use them as wrapping for fragile objects or papier mâché than for reading.

Regardless of whether someone gets their news online or on paper, news never gets old. 

Some people think that journalism is a dying field. Traditional, fact-based journalism is not as prevalent anymore due to the emergence of social media and untrustworthy publications. 

In reality, it has changed and evolved, and real journalism is as powerful as ever. 

Journalists are the key to informing the public about relevant events and groundbreaking stories that have gone untold or been silenced by others. This can result in many journalists risking their lives and hurdling through obstacles to ensure the truth is told and justice is served. 

Journalists are essential in places where people do not have the ability to tell their own stories. Oftentimes, members of the press must have put themselves in uncomfortable and unsafe positions for authentic research and news reporting. Just last year, there was a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of deaths of journalists since 2021, making it the deadliest year for journalists worldwide. 

One notable incident was the death of Shireen Abu Akleh in 2022, who reported on the conflict between Israel and Palestine. She and her colleagues were shot while in the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank, where they were attempting to film the Israeli military's occupation.

She was also wearing her vest which was labeled with the word "press." For over two decades, she willingly put her life on the line to help those who could not speak up for themselves.

The number of imprisonments and the amount of abuse against journalists also increased.

Ukraine's war correspondent, Anton Skyba, documents the events of the Russo-Ukrainian War on the frontlines while strapped in protective gear in case of any shrapnel or debris. He claims that other journalists who worked in sports or culture had also switched to war correspondents to allow the outside world to understand the full extent of the war. 

The threat of bodily harm negatively impacts freedom of the press because journalists cannot report or investigate freely against misconduct.

For instance, countries with the most censorship, such as Iran and China, are also imprisoning the most journalists for investigating them.

It is important to recognize that many people choose to go down this route so that they can bring awareness to the injustices people face around the world and garner support from those who can help make a difference. 

The work done by journalists is amplified by social media users, informing the world about issues that are important. Credible journalists report facts, and social media can be used to spread those facts. 

Our right to free speech and the freedom of expression allow us to expand our knowledge and learn new perspectives. Journalism must stay accurate and unbiased to ensure that justice is truly being served, rather than being corrupted by misinformation and propaganda.

Journalism is more powerful than you think. Once people understand what journalism really is, they will learn to appreciate it and what it does for society. 

Vidhi Koli is a sophomore in the School of Arts and Sciences, where she is undecided. Her column, 'Talk More,' runs on alternate Tuesdays.

*Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

YOUR VOICE | The Daily Targum welcomes submissions from all readers. Due to space limitations in our print newspaper, letters to the editor must not exceed 900 words. Guest columns and commentaries must be between 700 and 900 words. All authors must include their name, phone number, class year and college affiliation or department to be considered for publication. Please submit via email to by 4 p.m. to be considered for the following day's publication. Columns, cartoons and letters do not necessarily reflect the views of the Targum Publishing Company or its staff.

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