February 2018 Columns: How journalists, ‘Wonder’ change lives


In the era of fake news and bashing the media, it is hard to remember why journalism matters. News corporations are the watchers of society, the government, and the world.

Recently, the importance of journalism, especially investigative journalism, has been highlighted by the case involving Larry Nassar. “The Indianapolis Star” brought the abuse and sexual assault of hundreds of women and children to light.

Despite accusations that new media only spreads fake news, there is a much higher goal to reporting.
Journalists act as watchdogs, making sure that their audiences get the full truth (contrary to popular belief).

Journalists are focused on reporting truthfully on organizations and even the government. They hold these powerhouses in check. Reporters are responsible for being the voice of the people, delivering the most accurate information.

During the Vietnam War, the government was lying to the American people about their progress. It was newspapers like “The Washington Post” that exposed this, not knowing whether they would go to jail for it.

The movie “The Post” goes into detail with this story and celebrates the power and need for journalists.

Journalists expose hard truths and let the people decide if and how they can change things.

Journalism is a necessary part of every person’s life, as the goal of journalism is to get the facts to the people and to keep them informed about current events that impact their life.

Media provides the facts of events, giving people the necessary information to protest or support them.

News sites are the voices millions of Americans do or need to listen to.

“The freedom of the press, as one of the great bulwarks of liberty, shall be inviolable,” according to the case of New York Times Co. v. U.S.


Four months later and “Wonder” is still changing lives. Based on the novel, the movie “Wonder” stars Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Jacob Tremblay.

Trembaly is an 11-year-old boy who handled a very difficult subject, helping others see that difference is not bad, it is good.

While “Wonder” was originally written as a book by RJ Palacio, there have been many play-offs of the story so people of all ages can hear the inspiring story.

August Pullman is a typical fifth grader: he likes “Star Wars” and wants to be an astronaut. The only thing different about him is the fact that he has a facial deformity.

In the movie, August starts middle school and has a rough time adjusting because of the other kids and their reactions to his face. (No worries, there is a happy ending.)

August embraces his difference and that makes him strong.

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind” is the main takeaway from the book and movie. This quote was the one line that stood out to me the most.

It helps us see that kindness can change the world.

You never know how much a smile could shape someone’s day. “Wonder” makes us realize that the outside does not matter, what is on the inside is what counts.

Being nice to someone is more important than who you sit with at the lunch table.

As teenagers are standing up and speaking out for what they believe in, particularly in Florida, they are choosing kindness and friendship to make bold and brave statements. They are truly being wonders.

With everything happening today I think we could all use a little advice from ten-year-old Auggie Pullman.