Journalism is a vehicle of democratic vocalization


Quézia Arruda Cunha, Reporter

Noisy eyes. Eyes that not only observe the surface but the deep root. These are the eyes of true journalists – individuals responsible for sharing the panoramic view of the world around them for all, in order to exercise democracy through words.

I believe in the power that reporting has for the functioning of a balanced society with a sufficient amount of information, and consequently, critical awareness. One of the fundamental points of genuine journalism is the ability to expose, without masks and euphemisms, the naked reality of social problems that plague societies.

The most recent example that illustrates this fact quite clearly is what happened on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2022, when Black student Kylah Spring, a desk clerk at Boyd Hall, was assaulted by Sophia Rosing.

The example is yet another instance of the crime of racism, as Rosing repeatedly verbally and physically abuses Spring by exclaiming her hatred for someone with such a skin color. It is a great setback to see another incident like this in the 21st century, even more so in a university environment where knowledge and recognition of the power of inclusion and diversity are openly taught.

Once again, journalism comes into action at this time as the peaceful weapon capable of fighting such social setbacks, such as racism, through the dissemination of such an incident.

Through the reporting of such a crime, both students and all newspaper consumers are able to see with the aforementioned panoramic eyes. Voices, such as that of the student victim of racism, can finally be heard and represented, establishing a network of support and identification much greater than before the reporting of the matter.

It is more than crucial to acknowledge that journalism is the most fertile ground for the democratization of those who have eyes but do not see, and those who have a mouth, but do not speak. The censorship of media dissemination is nothing more than the censorship of democracy.

In my home country, Brazil, the struggle to share real information about social ills such as racism has been increasingly difficult. Despite not being under a dictatorship, where freedom of the press was null, my country still has a significant retrocession in the configuration of freedom of expression for journalists. According to the NGO Reporters Without Borders, in 2021, Brazil ranked 111th in terms of press freedom.

In fact, Brazil, even with its constant economic and scientific growth, is still very far from being a true democracy. The most common current phenomenon that illustrates the type of “journalism” carried out in the country is that of fake news. Through sensationalist and partisan language, what should be democratic becomes just false speeches without credible sources, which only encourage political stratifications and ideological and physical conflicts.

I grew up in this scenario where the truth is not the truth. I grew up in a country where journalists are attacked daily for reporting the reality of the country and its problems.

I grew up in a country where the democratization of information did not exist. Even so, I believe in the power of true journalism.

Noisy eyes. Eyes that not only observe the surface but the deep root. May these not only be the eyes of journalists but of all those who believe in the power of democracy and the freedom to give voice to the silent and sight to the blind.