CANO-SANTIAGO: US media must be protected at all costs – Le Cavalier Quotidien


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The First Amendment is the foundation of our democracy, guaranteeing fundamental rights such as freedom of religion, speech, press, petition and assembly. The events of January 6 were premeditated violent attacks on several protected ideals, including the right to freedom of the press. In the aftermath of the insurrection, the words “Murder the media” were found written at the entrance to the gates of the Capitol, several journalists were harassed and threatened and a group of rioters made a noose from media equipment.

These are not isolated events. In recent months, many acts of violence have been committed against journalists following the results of the 2020 presidential election. These acts of violence against the media are shocking in a country that prides itself on protecting the press. Around the world, acts of violence like these are not unheard of. At least 50 journalists deceased abroad in 2020. This statistic is disgusting, and we Americans cannot allow this violence and suffocation of the media within our own borders.

Unlike recent violence, verbal violence critical media is not a new concept in American politics. This criticism has become increasingly problematic in the last few months of the Trump administration. This includes leading curators voice affirming bad treatments media on alleged liberal bias. Former President Donald Trump had often criticized the media for having a perception liberal bias. On numerous occasions, Trump had referred to facts that he at variance with like “fake news”. Instead of supporting the First Amendment, Trump even went so far as to call the media “the enemy people. “Trump is not alone in criticizing the media. Prominent politicians such as former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin have blame the media for the Capitol uprising. It is ironic that right-wing leaders call for more transparency and Equal treatment of conservative politics by the “liberal media”, but try to to crush those same protections when discussing liberal-leaning sources of information.

In addressing the claim of “liberal bias,” we must recognize that the media in America – at least in the modern age – is understandably biased. However, the specific political tendencies of the media, whether liberal or conservative, are accessible to the public by simply searching the Internet. For decades journalists have been trained and charge with discovering and reporting news. However, Following over 78 percent of Americans under 50 receive their news from social media. As successive generations become increasingly dependent on the Internet for information, freedom of the media and, in particular, social media, is more important than ever.

And yet, Trump attack social media companies such as Twitter and Facebook on several occasions. He even sought to to modify the controversial Internet expression law Article 230. Specifically, Trump expressed a grievance on fact-checkers placed on his tweets when he falsely mail claimed in ballots can increase fraud. Concerns over voter fraud in the 2020 election have repeatedly been fact checked and have been confirmed to be false. Trump, however, called the use of fact-checkers one of the biggest danger freedom of expression and sought to redefine section 230 for this reason. Whether people or not confidence or believe that these companies are qualified to verify the facts, these companies have the right to do so. Likewise, users must comply with the terms and conditions that they agreed to when creating a social network account. However, these should not be a cause for concern. The legitimate protections and the First Amendment limits, including free speech, also apply to social media companies. Disturbingly, freedom of expression is also under attack by extreme right-wing groups.

The existing limits on free speech are in place to protect against violence, which is ironic for Trump and his hardline supporters. In the past, he had expressed the desire to usurp his powers to “legally” to close Twitter which comes with irony, because his account was recently and definitely locked for incitement to violence. If one truly believes in the protection of the First Amendment, they would defend the right to give the opposite point of view, except when such speech incites violence or spreads malicious lies. Right-wing extremists continue to spread lies on a stolen election, and affirming the Capitol uprising was an attack by the left-wing extremist group ANTIFA. Trump had seriously overstepped the limits of his political powers, prompting his supporters to attack the United States Capitol. Although Trump was acquitted on impeachment to treat, it is impossible to deny the fact that Trump ignited the seeds of hatred and violence that have always existed in America. These ideals have prompted extremist groups who Carry on to pose a threat to the First Amendment despite the change of administration.

The First Amendment must continue to be protected. Journalists should not allow potential threats to take away their protected right to publish news and express their opinions. Additionally, as US citizens, we should consult multiple sources and research before sharing any social media posts. This prevents the spread of false information that can incite extremist views and cause harm. We must work to come to terms with opposing views and protect the truth from lies that can lead to violence. Words can be powerful tools for communicating information across the world and can inspire the best in humanity, but they also have the power to incite hatred and bring out the worst in us. As Americans, we can and will do better. The healing and unity of our nations depends on it.

Yssis Cano-Santiago is a Viewpoint Writer for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at [email protected]

The opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of Cavalier Daily. The columns represent the views of the authors alone.


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