This weekend, a self-proclaimed “journalist” from an disreputable e-news site known as Quillette was attacked by Antifa, a group defending the streets of Portland against fascists gathering for a rally. Andy Ngo is a prime example of an “unauthorized journalist,” or a journalist not well-known or validated by working for a reputable news company, as opposed to someone like Joe Bernstein (of Buzzfeed News).
This brings to light an incredibly dangerous aspect of journalism, which is that, due to the open nature of the internet, people have the ability to insert themselves into conversations in which they don’t belong. Many journalists have worked hard and earned degrees in relevant fields, only to see random people from unknown publications issued press passes and allowed into events without any credentials whatsoever.
When we give anyone the right to report on important news, we also give away our trust in the media. These unauthorized journalists do not have the peoples’ best interests at heart. Many of them are only interested in swaying public opinion for views/clicks, unlike the mainstream media.
Antifa attacks on these unauthorized journalists show that the people of the United States are just as fed up as we journalists are with bad actors trying to stir up controversy. A partnership with a group like the ACLU to accredit professional journalists would help change the conversation and make Antifa attacks on “journalists” unnecessary since no reputable journalist would dare put Antifa groups in danger by filming them.
For now, unauthorized journalists will continue to insert themselves into places they shouldn’t be, and until this changes, Antifa may be forced to continue in the same way they have been: defending the streets against fascists. Antifa’s presence is welcomed by real journalists everywhere, and our support will not waver in these frightening times. We stand with you.
Stay safe and fight back,
In all seriousness, violence is never acceptable. Please donate to Andy Ngo’s GoFundMe to help him with his medical expenses after this brutal attack.
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