By Wyatt Robb
Journalists have been scrutinized for hundreds of years. It’s an unpleasant, but necessary, part of the job. However there is currently a growing movement to discredit the media and those involved in publishing it. As editor-in-chief of La Vista, I would like to weigh in on this issue from a student-journalist’s perspective.
Free press is synonymous with freedom. It was in fact so important to the framers of our constitution that it was included in the same amendment as the right to freedom of religion. Without free press, the country would never have existed in the first place.
I want to convey that this issue transcends the bounds of partisanship. Journalists work to give voice to the silent majority; tyrants work to usurp the voice of this majority. As a citizen of the United States, I take for granted the luxury of having a press that is allowed to publish the truth. As a journalist, I never forget the importance of this concession. We have built a nation on the principle of freedom, but for some reason we are now working to erode it.
California Education Code 48907 stipulates that “pupils of the public schools, including charter schools, shall have the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press including, but not limited to, the use of bulletin boards, the distribution of printed materials or petitions, the wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia, and the right of expression in official publications, whether or not the publications or other means of expression are supported financially by the school or by use of school facilities, except that expression shall be prohibited which is obscene, libelous, or slanderous. Also prohibited shall be material that so incites pupils as to create a clear and present danger of the commission of unlawful acts on school premises or the violation of lawful school regulations, or the substantial disruption of the orderly operation of the school.”
So that is what we will continue to do.