By Katelyn Roberts
In the midst of mass shootings with a lack of response, natural disasters with a lack of relief, and political confusion with a lack of answers, sometimes life feels like an endless battle.
With Nazis protesting freely under their First Amendment rights and sexual predators at the top of their game, it can be hard to write the news and not editorialize. It feels like everyone on staff wants to write an opinion piece lately because it can be difficult to talk about what’s going on without a tone of empathy, fear or anger.
And we all know what happens when our opinion pieces go wrong, or when we write something someone doesn’t want to hear. We (or the well-known journalists we aspire to be) are called “fake news” and quickly disregarded, or even scolded by the president.
So, when we get a letter to the editor, we’re overjoyed to hear your opinion. We want to know. We’re glad readers are interacting with us, and yes, we know, we’re sometimes mistaken.
Recently, the Aztec Press was invited to the University of Arizona’s Zenger Dinner, where the annual Zenger Award for Press Freedom is given to a journalist who fights for freedom of the press, along with the people’s right to know.
Dean Baquet, executive editor of the New York Times, was this year’s winner and guest.
Baquet mentioned the importance of disregarding “fake news,” because if it’s news, it’s not fake, he said.
The editor also spoke about his time in the newsroom and how, in his opinion, the more women who are becoming journalists are contributing to more eye-opening stories that haven’t been told until now, such as the current sexual harassment cases with Harvey Weinstein.
More difficult than reporting news is finding the courage the speak out against malfeasances, especially when the alleged perpetrator co-founded Miramax and co-chaired the Weinstein Company.
On Oct. 5, the New York Times pressed its investigation on a group of particularly brave women working around and for film producer and alleged rapist and all-around creep, Weinstein.
The Oct. 5 release included sexual harassment claims about Weinstein Company co-founder Harvey Weinstein dating back to 1990. On Oct. 10, actors Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow came out with their stories of harassment from Weinstein.
On Oct. 8, Weinstein was fired from his own company and resigned from the board on Oct. 17. Weinstein also was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
What originated as celebrity gossip has turned into real investigative news.Without question, there are dozens, if not hundreds, more Hollywood bigshots and producers just like Weinstein continuing the long line of rape culture — be it with sexist remarks, catcalls, belittling women or inviting actresses into their hotel rooms with promises of stardom.
This has happened since the creation of cinema, and a lack of consent sometimes feels like it will never go away.
Fortunately, when a few survivors tell their stories, more come out of the woodwork, and movements like the #MeToo hashtag are sparked.
Sexual harassment and rape survivors used the #MeToo tag to let their friends, family and followers on social media that they also have experienced the all-too common trauma of sexual abuse in its many forms.
Thankfully, the times are changing, however glacial the pace.