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In times like today, it's obvious how important journalism really is.

Whether it’s the news anchors on television or the daily stories that appear online, journalism is everywhere. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, reporters all over the world are working hard to acquire accurate information in a timely manner. In unprecedented times, it’s important to remember how important journalism is.

Journalists are the bridge that delivers information to the people who seek it. They work tirelessly to gather information, data and quotes to structure their stories and share them for the benefit of others. Today, they’re risking their lives along with other essential workers to guarantee people stories they need to hear. 

Some consider journalism a “dying field.” Online media has caused journalism to adapt from its print origins, and as the world evolves, so is the world of reporting. “Fake news” has changed the perspectives of how people view different news outlets, forcing people to pick and choose the information they want to prioritize. Others may not concern themselves with paying attention to current events because they find it affects their mental health, according to Time. People may have their reasons for not tuning into the news, but as the state of the world continues to spiral in uncertainty, the benefits of news should rise to the top. 

Between print news, digital news and televised news, new information about COVID-19 is being brought to the public’s attention as soon as it can be updated. Journalists are here to provide everyone with the most current and correct information available. Statistics are constantly changing, and it’s in people’s best interest to keep up with the facts to make sure they have the most recent data about COVID-19 available to them. Everyone should be aware of where they’re tuning in to look for new updates because words can easily be twisted and translated inaccurately. 

Without journalism, the world would be left in the dark with questions. Journalists provide valuable truths, and although it isn’t always pleasant or easy to hear, it’s essential to stay informed and up to date. The reality of COVID-19’s impact is devastating, and reporters are the ones who scout these truths to share. If the world didn’t have instant access to information the way technology allows, the current state of the world would be completely unknown. It would take a much longer time to hear about COVID-19’s impact because it wouldn’t be a Google search away.

Most importantly, journalism can bring people together. It keeps people informed on others, and thanks to different news reports, anyone can see how COVID-19 patients and doctors have been impacted by the virus. ABC News’ “On the frontlines at a NY hospital full of critically ill COVID-19 patients” reveals the critical conditions hospitals are facing. Anyone can see how families, communities and other parts of the world are being affected thanks to the risks reporters are taking to spread awareness. 

Journalists are able to give voices to those who feel they don’t have a loud enough platform. They provide all of the information they can about a topic so people can make the best informed decisions for themselves. During these times, everyone should consider the risks journalists are taking to guarantee viewers accurate and resourceful information.

Joanna Sommer is a sophomore media arts and design major. Contact her at sommerjj@dukes.jmu.edu.