We live in a capitalistic society where journalists are eyewitnesses to transgressions—corruption, greed, malice—others are not privy to. They serve as the filters, the fences, the forces that control what we read, pay attention to, and understand—or do they?
Petra Bartosiewicz, a prominent American journalist, notes the lack of solidarity between journalists in the White House pressbox during conferences. One wrong question, and you’re out. This sort of pressure creates an invisible layer of fear within those whose livelihoods depend on their ability to convey a US government-sympathetic tone to pieces. Showing the US in favorable light is portrayed as a win-win for all. From the study of cases where the US has had access to private citizen files and surveillance data accounts to the “Stop and Frisk” laws in New York, it is obvious that the Obama administration has placed an emphasis on protecting its citizens through spy-tactics, racial profiling, and behind the scenes censorship attempts on journalists who report crime. To journalists who stray outside the preferred US reporting guidelines, consequences could be intense. Loss of sources, the negative light shed on media outlets and prominent newspapers/journals who publish your work, potential traveling difficulties and visa attempts are all consequences that come with reporting the ugly truth. Furthermore, your credibility, integrity, and reputation behind the scenes could be tarnished which could result in failure to be promoted or denial of access to important files, ledes, or stories for future assignments.