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No Matter How Small

Gerald Maib for The Easterner

Gerald Maib for The Easterner

By The Easterner Staff Board

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We all know the importance of journalism, especially considering the current political climate of our country, but most of the discussion focuses on national news. What about the little journalists in towns and schools across the country, are they any less important?

Journalism is the fourth estate, as philosopher Edmund Burke put so succinctly. It is what keeps those in power honest. People often apply this logic when thinking about the high reaches of the U.S. government or huge corporations, but it is equally applicable when discussing even the smallest city council.

We saw an example of this back in April when a high school newspaper in Kansas exposed their principal’s inconsistent credentials, ultimately leading to her resignation. Thanks to our country’s dedication to free speech, these young journalists were able to challenge someone in power under the protection of the law.

We at The Easterner have had this same privilege, to work as free and independent journalists during our collective years here. It is a privilege we treasure greatly.

We were able to publish stories like our look at the illegal practices of EWU’s student employment office earlier this year without fear of being shut down. Without this kind of investigating and reporting, practices like this could continue happening “every year,” as EWU HR consultant Annette Clark said they had back in October 2016.

So we implore you, as Americans, to continue to value journalism at every level as we have in the past. We must fight to keep communication open and clear despite the war on journalism occurring today.

Let us hold journalists to the highest standards of conduct and integrity, that they may then hold those in power to those same standards.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege to serve the community of EWU this year, and we hope you continue to enjoy The Easterner for many years to come.

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The independent, student-run news site of Eastern Washington University.
No Matter How Small