The Christian View magazine    
A ministry of Christian journalism
Matthew 5:16

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Integrity Needs to be Restored to All of the Journalism Profession
By Karen Brewer, Publisher

I had hoped that 2019 would be a better year for journalists, but it hasn’t started out that way, and the fault lies with some in the national news media. What happened to high school students from Covington, Kentucky while on a trip to Washington, D.C. is a travesty. 

These teenagers, from Covington Catholic High School, had participated in the annual peaceful pro-life March for Life rally, and we need more young people like them who are interested in such a worthy cause as saving the lives of the most innocent among us, pre-born children.

After the rally and sightseeing, and while waiting at the Lincoln Memorial for their bus, these students were harassed by a group of activists, who cursed and hurled insults that are not printable here. Several videos reveal what happened and what was said.

In order to drown out the shouts of the activists, the students began doing their school cheers. The students were then approached from a distance by a man who then walked up to one student in particular, beating his drum right in the student’s face. The teenager stood there and smiled, with remarkable composure, while the man continued to beat his drum and chant.

The man lied by saying that these students surrounded him and that this student, in particular, blocked him from moving, and he was afraid. He further lied by saying that the students were harassing the other activists. The exact opposite is true. It was the other way around.

Some in the news media perpetuated the false narrative, which spread like wildfire on social media across the country.

These students were treated horribly by those who did not even know them, who felt the need to attack them and unjustly vilify them. These young men were crucified on the internet and called all kinds of despicable names, and they even received death threats.

But they had done nothing wrong.

Even after videos surfaced that bore witness to reality, and some in the media backtracked, others in the media continued to try to distort reality. Just as that man repeatedly beat his drum, some in the media continued to beat their own drum of falsehood. And many people in this country have continued to attack these teenagers on social media.

It is shameful the way these students were treated by the media and on social media. These young men are owed an apology from anyone who has attacked them.

Journalism is too noble of a profession to allow it to be hijacked by purveyors of falsehood. Any media that knowingly publishes in print or online or broadcasts on television any false information should be held accountable – by issuing an apology and a retraction and also by being sued. 

We need a free press in this country, but we need an honest press.

The media has a responsibility to report truth, and citizens have a right to expect truth. A rush to be the first to report often leads to a rush to judgment. A real journalist always gets both sides of a story before a story is published or broadcast. 

Integrity needs to be restored to all of the journalism profession.