Journalism is Illegal

6th of August, 2022

Journalism has been unsurprisingly tangled with governments and politics in an abusive relationship for as long as it existed. If the history of journalism was a simple line, it would wave between decades if freedom of speech was taken as the only variable. Some of the time, a benevolent ruler allowed newspapers to write truthful articles during the good times, or in other words, let the journalists do their jobs. Most of the time, though, that simply was not the case.

At first, it was the outright banhammers. They would just discontinue a certain newspaper that allegedly tarnished the ruler’s name, or dared to subtly question the authority, which was often done by force, or threatening the use of it. Many journalists of past times ended up imprisoned for a long time for having the guts to speak out very publicly against the ruling regime. They knew exactly what would have happened to them once the paper was printed and distributed, containing damning text with their names above it, and they still chose to do it. If that is not the highest form of courage, I don’t know what is.

The authorities eventually had to stop being so bold in their misuse of power as the readers caught wind of what was happening, and they did not like it one bit. When distrust sows its seeds in public opinion, it is hard to nip that in the bud. The dictators started taking marketing classes, and quickly learned there is a much better way to suppress journalists while keeping their reputation squeaky clean.


Slowly, they raised taxes on printed goods, until it got to the point that no one could afford newspapers anymore. Except, of course, the news that acquired ‘donations’ from the ruling class to keep afloat. How kind and generous of them.

For the journalists, it was a lose-lose situation. Either voluntarily fold to the boot, or get folded in prison. The third option was to go into a different trade, dropping journalism entirely, which was also a win for the government. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Well, not quite the same.

The journalism of today is that only in name. It has no basis of operation in journalism for what it should stand for. Pursuit of truth, objectivity, respect, fairness, correctness, balance and, most importantly, remaining unbiased in any situation should be the pillars of journalism well practiced. Yet, an article with all those settings in mind is keeping everyone in great anticipation since 1970s.

Nowadays, these so-called journalists are glorified PR goblins standing on top of each other, hiding under a long trench coat. They copy from each other like school children, parrot the government-approved memos, and share irrelevant, random opinions to clog up the news space that is already full of shit.

And the reason for that is because real journalism is illegal.

Not directly, of course. Freedom of speech, and by extent freedom of press, are guaranteed in any country which practices democracy. Yet, there is no freedom of consequences, a right usually granted to journalists to protect them from libel lawsuits, or worse. Journalism is illegal, not in the judiciary system, but the social one. Once self-censorship rears its ugly head, it often becomes a rampant, unstoppable beast propelled further by social media, a place where everyone can share their opinion, no matter how unfounded it may be.

In their drive to push government agenda, *all* journalists, regardless of chosen colours, got caught up in the very beliefs they are supposed to be imposing. The backlash for wrongthink would not come from the court, nor the government, but the very society they should be serving the truths to. Unbiased no more, but shackled, with festering Stockholm Syndrome on a grand scale. Pick a side, oh objective one, or burn at the freedom stake, but don't tell anyone about the new rules.

I am beyond jaded when it comes to this topic, because all the above is not even the worst part.

The main objective of modern journalists is to garner as many clicks, likes, shares, and hearts. For profit. Integrity and principles, sold for $0.01 per engagement. Comments disabled, naturally. No dissent towards the ruling class, citizens. No discourse, just absorb what we put out. They relish in the power they should be questioning in the first place. There’s no turning back anymore, I’m afraid.

In the end, if all other means fail, someone else can take care of them.

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Twitter @Morrowheart