The Whole Truth is powerful

Sophia Kalakailo, Editor

I listed Journalism as an alternate elective for my junior year. To my surprise, it appeared on my schedule, and, walking into class, I had no clue FHS even had a newspaper. Journalism was a passion I did not know I had until accidentally taking the class.

The truth is powerful, allowing free thought, but the truth is not always hard, undebatable facts. The truth can be differing perspectives. Journalism is about presenting hard facts, but it is also about the understanding of all perspectives. A good journalist would do their best to present these perspectives in order to create a dialogue.

A dialogue relates to understanding rather than opinion, as a debate does. For instance, when someone who is under five feet tall says the shelf is too high to reach, while a person above six feet tall says the shelf is not too high, neither perspective is untrue. When a child sees the world as a wonderful place while a jaded adult may see it as harsh and unforgiving, neither perspective is untrue.

Experience, I believe, is not a gateway to reality. There is nothing “more true” about reality being revealed to us as we enter and leave different phases of our life; there is just a new experience and therefore a shift in your reality.  Experience is reality. We as humans can only experience reality; there is no other use for reality. Journalism is the report of reality, but it is more specifically about experience of ourselves and others.

Journalism shares these experiences. We can only experience our reality, but we unite those realities through communication. The difference between journalistic writing and other forms of communication is that it attempts to balance the presentation of perspectives to ultimately achieve objectivity. It is not like analyzing a piece of literature. It should simply attempt to be accessible.

It may seem as if a school newspaper does not matter in the scheme of all humanity, but no part of humanity is more important than another. Journalism at a high school level changed the way I evaluate information and how I attempt to understand others. Even if I cannot turn journalism into my career, it has positively impacted who I am forever. My opinions are more educated, my writing is immensely better, and most importantly I am far more passionate.

The amount of information available to us in the wake of the Internet is a double edged sword; on one hand, we receive many perspectives and the spread of information is faster, but these perspectives are not always presented with objectivity. Often the first side of the story we see is what we accept as the story’s entirety.

As a journalist, and merely a consumer of information, I caution against this blind acceptance. Biases are present within all sources of information, and an educated opinion can only be formed with the objective truth and all sides of the story.

The half-truth is limiting and potentially dangerous, but the whole truth is powerful and eye opening.