By YeonWoo Lee (’21)
We live in a world where the idea of fake news has spread to every corner of the Earth. President Trump has recently argued with many journalists during the White House’s COVID-19 Task Force’s Updates. Fox News anchor Sean Hannity has recently threatened to sue the New York Times for libel. There are twitter debates on how truthful the media is being on the severity of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Regardless of all these different scandals, it’s still essential that the public trusts the press to do their job.
Recently, I have watched Spotlight, an Academy Award winner for Best Picture. The movie revolves around the Spotlight team, an investigative journalist unit, from the Boston Globe as they uncover the sexual abuse that the Catholic Church had covered up from the public for decades. Although the public saw the glory that the report received as they ended up winning the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, the movie depicts the struggles that the journalists faced: whether it was obtaining public court documents or holding interviews with survivors or even with the Catholic Church. Each of the actors, Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, and Rachel McAdams, did a marvelous job of portraying the emotional roller coaster that each member of the team was going through as they were uncovering all the secrets that the Catholic Church was hiding.
There’s a specific scene in the movie that really made me think about the importance of journalism and the impact that it can have on our society:
“They knew. And they let it happen to kids. Okay? It could have been you. It could have been me. It could have been any of us. We gotta nail these scumbags. We gotta show people that nobody can get away with this. Not a priest, or a cardinal, or a freaking Pope!” -Michael Rezendes
There are so many more journalists who take the time to bring stories to light. Whether they inform the public of breaking news or revealing a story that has been covered up for so many years, journalists have allowed debates of how to make life better to even occur in our communities, country, and the world.
Fake news is a major problem that needs to be addressed. But it shouldn’t be done through completely discrediting all journalists and the work that they put into their reports. It is up to us to make sure that the articles we read are from reliable sources and fact check some of the things that are being reported. Creating the belief that all news is falsified for a political agenda, is rejecting the stories that have been covered up. Stories that have impacted the lives of so many people. And stories that will continue to occur without holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. Ever since the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe uncovered the hundreds of accounts of sexual abuse of children by some members of the Catholic clergy, it is now that the Roman Catholic Church has started to work on preventing such horrors from occurring ever again.