By Cathy Shan (’23)
Featured: Rachel Rochford (’23)
Starting with four words that sparked the end of an era of segregation and prejudice, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech is undoubtedly one of, if not the most, well-known pieces of literature in American history. This speech touched the hearts of tens of thousands of people around the nation, making it a prime example of how the simplest of words can have such a powerful influence on people’s thoughts and ideologies; a reminder of how a series of short phrases can lead to the growth of a nation-wide movement.
Words are the most powerful weapon that people can hold. One sentence can inspire the start of a revolution. A simple phrase can bring a nation to its knees and cause destruction. Conversely, words can instill hope and healing. They can allow people to flourish and thrive, to inspire and change. Words can show strength and power or tell a story and share a message. They are so powerful, yet we often ignore how easily words can shape our opinions.
Whether we know it or not, simple writing decisions can easily influence our beliefs and decisions. From an inspirational quote to a thousand-page memoir, every word in writing is meticulously chosen to make the reader feel certain emotions and have specific thoughts. Social media posts, tweets, and captions are written to convey news, issues, beliefs, and stories to readers with the desire to gain more knowledge. In this sense, we are citizen journalists who wield the power to choose the information that we share with the world, just like any professional journalist from BBC or CNN. As a result, it is our responsibility to ensure that what we share is as unbiased as possible and that we are factually sound in everything that we write or display. If we fail to uphold these standards, we are doing a disservice not only to the name of journalism but also to the protectors of our American democracy.
At the IA Overachiever, we strive to effectively convey news and information to a large audience. As journalists, it is our job to ensure that we are accurate in everything that we write and that we don’t spread false information. As previously mentioned, words have this incredible power to shape and mold what people believe in. A seed of falsity can lead to the never-ending growth of misconceptions and false assumptions, which, more often than not, can block out the truth. Therefore, we all hold ourselves to a high standard in which we present our articles. Even if a post seems minor and harmless, I encourage everyone to take the time to validify and check any news or conflicts that they are going to share. Trust me, it’s worth it.