Opinion: In this political world, objectivity is what we need


Ch'Ree Essary

Attendees of the Trump rally in El Paso, TX. hold signage in favor of a border wall.

Objectivity. It’s drilled into the minds of journalism students every day starting the moment they walk into their first news writing classes.

It is not our job as journalists to tell people what to think and how to believe. Rather we compile both sides of the story with evidence to let the people decide what they want to believe.

When I’m off the clock, I’m a huge supporter of President Donald J. Trump.

I’ve been one of his supporters from just about the very beginning of his campaign in 2016 and will more than likely vote for him in 2020.

Recently, I was fortunate enough to receive credentials to be in the White House Press Pool for the Trump Rally in El Paso, Texas and saw what it was like to cover national politics with the big dogs of the news world.

The rally truly opened my eyes to why my job is so important and how being a journalist has developed my political beliefs to what they are today.

The coliseum was packed with an estimated 6,500 people from the El Paso area, bearing pro-Trump signage and merchandise; a sea of red hats filled the stands and floor area.

Above the podium, an enormous American flag hung with two large banners inscribed “FINISH THE WALL” suspended on either side.

The speakers who preceded the president’s rally speech and the president himself urged the crowd to taunt and “boo” the press multiple times throughout the evening, calling us “fake news.”

I would just laugh and shake it off when they would do this. Just words.

Like a blur, a belligerent man, red-hat-adorned, jumped onto the press platform where television camera operators, anchors, photographers and other journalists could do their respective jobs approximately 30 minutes into Trump’s speech.

Managing Editor Alanna Herrera and I were in this section taking photos and taking notes on the happenings of the rally.

I vividly remember the man angrily grabbing the cameras to our immediate right and throwing them to the ground. Among them, was the BBC camera whose operator was assaulted.

Another man in a red hat seized him and pulled him off the media platform.

“F— the media,” the unidentified attacker shouted.

Still focused on doing the task-at-hand, I disregarded the event that took place a couple feet away and went back to paying attention to the speech.

“You all right?” Trump asked the press pool. “Everything okay?”

Being in that scenario where I had to be completely objective and impartial to the political upheaval I was surrounded by made me realize what had been annoying me so much about the members of political parties (both Republican and Democratic) in recent months: people outside of journalism have no sense of objectivity.

Humans are so stubborn in their ways. They only want to see things the way it benefits them and continue to ignore all other perspectives.

That Trump supporter who attacked the press Monday night only listened to those speakers calling all the media “fake” and probably didn’t even try to fact check half the things the president was saying.

If you can’t take a step back, stop defending yourself and start listening to what is going on on both sides of the isle, you are not informed enough to make an educated political decision.

For example, I understand that not 100 percent of what the president says is accurate. However, many news organizations (Fox News, CNN, MSNBC) aren’t accurate either.

These organizations have agendas that support their particular party affiliation and do not give people the neutral, unbiased and objective source of news they desperately need.

Don’t just read and watch left- or right- winged media outlets. Gather information from all sides of the situation. Question everything that comes out of a politician, government official or commentator’s mouth whether you support them or not and never be satisfied.

What I’m trying to say here is: challenge your beliefs.

Our political and personal beliefs become stronger when they are exercised and can stand strong through trials and tribulations. However, the majority of people spend every opportunity trying to defend their own arguments.

I’ve gotten into heated debates on policy and legislation that currently have our nation divided, but because I stopped defending a side and began to truly listen to what was going on around me, my support in Trump and conservatism is stronger than ever.

Stop defending a side. Start listening to what each side is saying. Be objective.

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