Journalists receive worst scrutiny in media world

Journalists receive worst scrutiny in media world

Column writing is a means for self-expression. It offers journalists the chance to research and inform others about something they are passionate about; whether it’s sports, food, art or even news.
Journalism also can offer some writers the chance to express their opinions. The expression of an opinion is very dangerous form of writing. Every piece runs the risk of offending someone, even if the piece is about something trivial.
Because we live in a society where it is more accepted for anyone to openly share their opinion, it makes the life of an opinion writer much more difficult. A piece may be fully fact-checked and reviewed to make sure that it is not going to inaccurately portray an issue and to make sure that it is respectful and less likely to offend someone.
Even after this process is done, people are still likely to openly share their feelings about the topic. This expression is, in my mind, acceptable. I may not always agree with what people are saying in response to a piece but I also may have a new side of it brought to my attention.
Some people may even write an outside editorial as a rebuttal to an original piece. They are often written by people whose opinion is on the opposing side, but are still written respectfully. This I have no problem with.
What I do have a problem with is when people are offended by the piece and did not read it thoroughly. It is usually very obvious when the comments add in something that was not in the piece, saying that it had been. I can’t help but think “if you had just read it, you would know that what you are saying was not even mentioned.”
I also have an even bigger problem with people commenting that they have an opposing opinion but then add in irrelevant information and opinions. This has actually happened this semester to a fellow member of The Gannon Knight staff.
Her original column was delivered respectfully (it would not have been published if it wasn’t.) There was then a rebuttal written that was also delivered respectfully. Since the column was published it had drawn the traffic of some other very respectful people.
This was all fine, but the column had also drawn in some other traffic. This traffic was, to me, appalling. Some of the comments made on this column were rude and disgusting. Luckily this staff member is a very strong person, but that still doesn’t mean other people can be just plain mean.
And it’s cases like this that make people terrified to become opinion writers. Every time a column is published someone can just turn around and act like a child, commenting things that no true adult would ever say. True adults know how to express themselves respectfully; children just say things because they are angry and want to be mean.

SARAH BARTKOWIAK
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