A Game of Telephone



Our world would most certainly be different if we didn’t have journalism in it (Photo courtesy of Pixabay, Photo Credits to janeb13).

Journalism is everywhere, and I don’t specifically mean the paper that is thrown on your driveway every week. I mean billboards on the highway, magazines in coffee shops, medical journals spread amongst doctors, and even the ads you pass while scrolling on your Instagram feed. Journalism, to be more technical, is the production and distribution of reports on recent events. This doesn’t necessarily mean the news, like Fox or CNN, but also the spreading of information and our world would most certainly be different if we didn’t have it. 

“If we didn’t have journalism, we wouldn’t know what would be happening in the world, or even our own community,” said junior Carly Alexander. 

From the very first civilizations, communications were key in development. For over 40,000 thousand years, people have used writings and pictures to communicate ideas with one another. During the Ice Age, native peoples would paint and etch pictures into rocks, which described the things they saw, communicating many different ideas to others. It could mean that there were good hunting grounds or there were predators nearby. After fast-forwarding in history, cuneiform (3200 BCE) was created, which gave people the first real form of a written language, which certainly wasn’t as interpretive as pictures, giving people a stronger sense of information. 

Especially in the modern era, pictures are used in journalism to portray a deeper meaning. Political cartoons, propaganda, and even billboard ads express the author’s point of view and can inflict the same feeling on their target audience if used correctly. The photo could convince the audience to vote for a specific candidate, join a cause, or even buy a product from a specific store. We see it every day, but oftentimes, we don’t recognize it as journalism. 

“Journalism allows people to widen their perspective and understand different viewpoints, while also weighing in evidence that supports those viewpoints,” said junior Elisa Payan. 

Journalism is more commonly known for papers, articles, and magazines, which can be just as powerful as pictures in what it portrays. The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times are some of the most prestigious newspapers in the world and can disseminate a plethora of information to a wide variety of people. These sources are often times where we get our information because they are well-known, reliable papers with expert fact-checkers. With today’s technology, we are able to broadcast information so almost every person in the nation is able to watch the exact same information from, once again, reliable sources. We consider it to be true because we can see it for ourselves. Having access to these sources is fundamental because if we didn’t, we would probably all have to get the news from insufficient websites, with biased writers and flawed facts. 

“If the author is unbiased, then it allows you to understand the facts before making a choice as to which side you choose to be on. It’s almost like being on the outside looking in,” said Payan.

Have you ever played the game telephone? Have you noticed what is said at the beginning is drastically different from what is said at the end? That’s what our world would roughly be like if we didn’t have access to journalism. We would all be spreading information, but subconsciously changing it because of personal biases, forgetting parts, or simply mishearing the information.

“I feel like the world would be very ignorant and closed off if we didn’t have journalism,” said junior Christian Malave.

So, imagine if we didn’t have the Wall Street Journal or The New York Times. We probably wouldn’t know the extent of the California fires or the newest bill passed into law. Imagine if your doctors didn’t have access to the newest advances in medical technology. We probably wouldn’t have made advances in cancer research or learned of the new cure for a disease. What about Instagram? Imagine if we couldn’t share a hilarious meme with our friends, or see the video of a Marine coming home to his family. To be quite honest, our world is a scary place, so journalism is key in helping us recognize the good.  

“It’s important to be informed of what’s happening because people have the right to adapt to the world around them,” said Malave.