Why Journalism Matters

Even as a journalist, there are times I get frustrated with the media. Let’s be honest. Twenty-four hour news coverage means non-newsworthy stories can get beaten to death and even those that are newsworthy can get blown out of proportion. But then there are days when I pick up the paper and read a story that leaves me saying, “There. That is why journalism matters. That is why the press is and should be the fourth estate.”

Last week, the front page of the Washington Post detailed the story of the Air Force secretly dumping the incinerated partial remains of at least 274 American troops in a landfill without the families’ knowledge or consent. The Post first revealed the practice last month and is continuing its push for information.

Read the story here. It is appalling, and this is exactly the type of story the media should grab onto and fight tooth and nail to uncover. It is the reason the first amendment exists. It is why I am grateful "Congress shall make no law…" 

I’m sure we’re all guilty of cursing police officers when we’re caught speeding yet we want them to be at the ready when we need help. The same goes for the press.

There may be times when we roll our eyes or change the channel because we’re tired of seeing the same story over and over again or we just can't take any more of a particular anchor. But even so, let’s be glad the press is there. It really does serve a greater good. Plus, you never know when you may need the media to come to your aid. It can happen, and I bet that while the families who are just now learning their loved ones’ remains were dumped in a landfill are devastated, they’re glad to know the practice was uncovered and the military will be held responsible for its actions.  

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