ByMatt Walz, writer at
Avid comics and video game enthusiast and aspiring creator of wonderful things.
Matt Walz

If you've been paying any attention to the news this past week, the University of Missouri has spent time on your screen. You've seen reports on the various issues and decisions from the hunger strike, the football team walkout, the various protests, and the press conference on Monday. You've heard that the UM system President, Tim Wolfe, stepped down, and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin will move to a new position within the school.

You've also likely seen or heard of the video depicting students and even faculty physically pushing back reporters. Maybe you know that Dr. Click, one of the faculty members responsible, is no longer a courtesy member of the Missouri School of Journalism.

Prof. Melissa Click yells at journalists to leave
Prof. Melissa Click yells at journalists to leave

You've also probably heard alot of misinformation. Things have been misreported, misrepresented, ignored, and glossed over. Even on campus, it's often hard to tell what's factual and what isn't, especially when authority figures spread some of it.

So how does anyone know what to think? How do they determine what's fact and what's fiction? When the entire world is shaking around us (which, on campus, it definitely feels that way), how do we decide where the solid ground is?

We write. Full, honest reports, including the most trustworthy sources and information we can find. We update it as necessary, and correct ourselves when we're wrong, but no matter what, we exercise our right to write. The University of Missouri School of Journalism has been internationally recognized for its excellence. My Monday class was cancelled in favor of sending the students out to learn, write, and document what was going on. As a sophomore in an entry level course, I sat in a press conference next to reporters on assignment for organizations like ESPN, BBC, and CNN. Our students were key in reporting the story and bringing as much truth to light as possible.

Tim Tai stands up to protesters (image from NBC)
Tim Tai stands up to protesters (image from NBC)

We've been given a constitutional right to free speech and freedom of the press. Each and every one of us here at Moviepilot exercises that right daily. Use it. Respect the power that has, and use it for greatness. People will give you crap for your ideas and theories, but that's the beauty of it - they can't silence you because they disagree. Writing is one of the most pervasive things humans can do. If the world burned down around us, we could write with the charcoal left over, or in the dust left at our feet. Whatever you use it for, be it bringing about societal change or just making someone smile, you're exercising one of the greatest rights we have. So keep it up, Moviepilot.


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