Unless you’ve gone completely off the grid since Trumps inauguration, and moved to the middle of nowhere in the Canadian Northwest; you know that there have been anti-Trump protests all over the United States since Trumps inauguration on January 20th.
On the day of Trumps inauguration in Washington D.C., protestors filled the streets to voice their feelings toward the 45th President of the United States. Everything was fine and dandy up until protestors began throwing rocks through storefront windows and then set a limousine on fire.
At least 6 journalists were charged with felonies for rioting during the inauguration of President Trump. They were among 224 other people who were also arrested during the riot. The journalists charged were: Evan Engel, Alexander Rubinstein, Jack Keller, Matthew Hopard, Shay Horse and Aaron Cantu.
If journalists start getting charged with felonies in a country with the right to free speech, where practically anyone with a camera and a social media account can be a journalist, it becomes increasingly important we all continue to exercise our right to the freedom of speech. If we stop reporting what is actually happening in our country out of fear for jail or prison then we will be forced to accept only what the government wants us to accept.
In the preamble for the Society of Professional Journalists it says –
“we believe that public enlightenment is the forerunner of justice and the foundation of democracy. Ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough. An ethical journalist acts with integrity”.
Now more that ever, we must stand up for what we believe in and do our duty to report whats happening in our neighborhoods, our community, and in our government. This information must be reported accurately, fairly, and thoroughly so that the virtues of our democracy remain intact. If we do not continue to exercise our freedom of speech then we might as well be living in North Korea.