Student press freedom will triumph
Since his campaign to the White House, newly elected President Donald Trump continues to publically insult the press and threatens to weaken First Amendment protection all while serving as one of the most powerful public figures in America.
As frightening as this may sound, First Amendment advocates have learned throughout history that justice does tend to prevail; free expression eventually wins out. But until then, student journalists may face the same challenges as professionals with regards to what the plans are for restrictions on the Freedom of Information Act, says Professor Jonathan Peters of the University of Kansas in the Columbia Journalism Review. They may also have their credibility questioned as a result of President Trump labeling major news outlets as “fake news.” Despite the messy politics, student journalists at all levels do have significant First Amendment protections.
In response to all that has happened in these last few weeks in the new presidency, we, as scholastic journalism contributors and educators, must ensure we are doing our due diligence in reporting the news and not “alternative facts.” Today’s aspiring professional journalists (i.e. high school students, college students, etc.) are the future of this ever-changing industry, so we must advocate for them more than ever to ensure these fundamental rights are protected for the press and the American people.