Journalism changes lives — just ask Harwood

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I have so much respect for my previous professors and for journalism itself, but unfortunately some do not share the same reverence for the media.

In 2011, the PEW Research center revealed that 42 percent of Americans believe journalists hurt democracy.

Journalism is for the truth. Journalism is for the community. Most importantly, journalism is for uncovering corruption, whether you agree with me or not. 

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Some believe the world is a positive place with no disease, corruption or bad people who hold official titles. Those are the the community members who need journalism. The world isn’t like that and thats where journalism comes in. 

I was taught that journalism is the fourth estate, and a local Kentucky paper is proving just that. 

Take The Kentucky Kernel as an example. If you haven’t seen the national headlines, the University of Kentucky student newspaper, The Kentucky Kernel, is being sued by the university. Long story short, The Kernel asked for public records and was turned down by the university to protect a professor who had allegedly sexually harassed his students —  Professor James Harwood.

The lives of many are affected by journalism: UK President Eli Capilouto; current editor-in-chief of the Kentucky Kernel Marjorie Kirk; Harwood; and members of the UK student body, who are unsure if other professors could harass a student and simply be asked to leave with pay and a clean slate.

If the Kernel had never pushed the envelope, no one (beside the victims and the UK administration), would know what Harwood allegedly did. Now anyone can search Harwood’s name on Google and find information of his alleged wrongdoings.

Journalism is no joke — just ask anyone who has picked up a newspaper to find out what happened in their hometown for the week, or anyone who watches the morning news while sipping their coffee.

Journalists serve the community. We are there to point out the good, the bad and the newsworthy.

While journalists may step on toes from time to time, that is not our intention. For myself, since I can’t speak on behalf of the Jessamine Journal or for all media members, I would like to quote Geraldo Rivera: “The courage in journalism is sticking up for the unpopular, not the popular.”

Journalists are people too, and just like public officials, we are not all bad.

While my paper may be referred to by some in our community as, “The Jessamine Joke,” the truth itself, and journalism, is no joke. The truth that I strive for on a daily basis — just like my friends and previous co-workers at the Kernel), is to inform you.