Journalists reflect on importance of the media

by Mary Estacion, ABS-CBN News

HOUSTON, TX — Bobby Caina Calvan is a journalist for the past 25 years — a career he’s always wanted to follow.

“I’ve always respected our democracy and journalism is such a big part of that democracy.”

But his job, along with thousands of other media professionals, is much more difficult these days.

“The rhetoric about the press being the enemy of the people or fake news, and those sorts of things really diminish the credibility of the press in a way that I think is harmful to a society.”

So harmful, in fact, that last week’s Asian American Journalists Association convention, included this very topic.

“Nobody likes what the other person has to say but if you start stamping out what they have to say, then you mute your own voice as well.”

But as gloomy as this very polarizing environment we live in may seem, media lawyer Bob Latham says this is an opportunity for the press to rise to the challenge.

“I just think they need to do solid journalism and especially at the local level, where there’s more of a connection between the community and the journalists in that community.”

Communities that need the media just as much as it needs them.

“Without journalists, there can be no honesty in how our government, in how our systems of power operate. Without us shining a light on these institutions, our democracy goes dark.”

A democracy based in part on the First Amendment — the right to free speech and a free press.

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