Fear of fake news in the Trump era


Abraham Fuentes

Fear of Fake News in Trump Era

Abraham Fuentes, Photo Editor

This is a simple question with a seemingly simple answer: to inform a community. Why then, am I asking this? My answer is that I am afraid to be a journalist.

I wanted to be a physicist—to study the universe and the laws of physics. I didn’t have any aspirations of being a journalist. I thought I was a terrible writer — I still think that. I didn’t know that a single class could change my ambitions.

Journalism 1 was supposed to be my elective for the semester. I was taking the course during the presidential primaries when we all thought a Democrat would be elected president.

Most people laughed at the idea of Donald Trump becoming president, myself included. Still, his words made me feel something that I didn’t know how to explain then, but do now. It was fear. During Trump’s campaign, his favorite words were and still are,  “You are fake news,” and this was directed at news outlets like CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post.

I disagree with these allegations; these news organizations fight against false information. Journalists have been fighting a good fight going against the government’s statement when officials lie, telling Americans of atrocities the likes of Watergate and wars all over the globe. Some risking their lives, as Anderson Cooper, journalist from CNN,has done in the past and many enduring an increase in death threats.

On Oct. 24 of this year, CNN and more than a dozen prominent or outspoken Democrats were sent pipe bombs via mail. The bombs were found before they could detonate. CNN employees had to evacuate their New York offices after workers found a pipe bomb in their mailroom. The FBI arrested the alleged bomber a few days later in his home state of Florida.

This is a scary time for the people who look for facts. The president’s words are affecting people’s views on the journalists helping to inform the American public. Trump’s rhetoric leads many Americans to think they can only trust one person and one party. A war is underway between propaganda and facts.

We live in George Orwell’s “1984.” “War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength.” People will look away from the truth and look for lies that makes them feel safe. As Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani said back in August, “Truth isn’t truth.”

As journalists, we have to fight the lies and show the world the injustices that occur. It’s our responsibility to tell you the people the truth so you can make well-informed decisions that will not only affect you but every community that lives here.

With Americans looking for a common enemy, the Republicans have offered them plenty: immigrants, Democrats and, like I said before, new organizations.  

Immigration is currently the enemy that Republicans are looking towards. The Caravan, that is currently in Mexico, is a large group of immigrants coming from South America countries to the US, looking for a better life. The reason they are moving in this big group is for safety.

The caravan that is walking towards the US-Mexico border get closer, President Trump is calling it an invading force, but they are only looking for asylum. Families, children and people that are not safe in their own countries and are looking for help from the US government.

The Republican Party are painting them as criminals that are coming illegally but they are doing by legal means by looking asylum.

There is no end in sight to the news coming in but we the soldiers for truth can’t stop reporting. We need to do our job, as many are doing at this moment with no fear.