When I was a freshman, I was approached by an English professor and encouraged to become a staff writer at The Bulletin. When I mentioned it to an upperclassman, they said “Don’t do that. Working for The Bulletin is committing social suicide.”

I get it. It’s “cool” to hate newspapers.

Especially campus newspapers. I mean, who hasn’t laughed at a dumb headline or funky design?

Who hasn’t made fun of the misspelled words or fragmented sentences when copy editors miss their mark?

It’s “fun” to trash reporters. Especially campus reporters.

However, at this point, the jokes have gone too far and it’s becoming a little less funny and little more dangerous every day.

With cries of “Fake news!” a good portion of the country believes that the President should be able to close down news organizations.

Every year, the United States becomes a more hostile place for journalists.

Out of 180 countries, the U.S. is only 45 in press freedom, according to the world press freedom index. We are consistently passed by countries like the Czech Republic, Jamaica, Costa Rica and the Netherlands.

This year, alone, eight journalists have been killed and 39 have been attacked, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker.

This doesn’t include Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist for the Washington Post who was brutally murdered and mutilated in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.

And I could cite to you 1,000 more statistics, but the real tragedy is the effect we are seeing on this campus.

There is a movement in this country and, unfortunately, it makes people (professors, administrators and students alike) forget that the people who work here, at the “dreaded” Bulletin, are working for you.

We’re working to defend your rights, protect your freedoms and to inform you.

We know you don’t want to sit in on 20 boring meetings a week. That’s why we do it. We do it so you’ll still know what’s happening on this campus and how your money is being spent.

We know you can’t look into every email or claim that’s made to verify it. That’s why we’re here.

Democracy without journalism is tyranny.

Every person who works for The Bulletin believes that the world becomes a better place when we are transparent, open and honest with what is actually going on.

Every day, I am thankful I ignored that upperclassmen because becoming a journalist and working for The Bulletin is one of the most worthwhile things I have ever done.

We don’t need you to like us.

But we are worthy of your respect because at the end of the day, everything we do, we do for you: the students of this campus.

I’m proud of the work we’ve done on this campus.

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