Jessica Abramsky

Alarming reality of some young American journalists who don’t understand the war

University Press newsroom wall quote by Dan Rather on April 11, 2024. Photo by Jessica Abramsky.
University Press newsroom wall quote by Dan Rather on April 11, 2024. Photo by Jessica Abramsky.

“Be careful. Journalism is more addictive than crack cocaine,” by Dan Rather is the quote on my newsroom’s wall. When I first started college journalism, I thought that was extremely exaggerated. Well, now I’ve learned that was naive. Journalism is extremely addictive.

Some journalists will go to great lengths to get that great story or killer source. After Oct. 7, I realized college journalists want to get a good story about the war but will make every effort to make it as balanced as possible, even if that means relying on a terrorist organization as a source for supposedly trustworthy information. 

In my previous blog posts for the Times of Israel, I outlined my experiences and how the war has affected me. I’m a college journalist and what I’ve seen in my university newsroom makes me believe some young journalists have a limited understanding of the Israel-Hamas War.

Journalists are the key to people understanding what is going on all over the world, not just in Israel, but Haiti, Ukraine and elsewhere. If there is a gap in factual historical knowledge by journalists, it can only lead to dangerous, misinformation rapidly spreading around the world due to the power journalists have. We are meant to bear witness and report back to the rest of the world who cannot be there to have a front-row seat to history.

Young journalists I know have questioned Israel’s ethics and logistics, why they’re not feeding the Gazan people and have even said there are a lot of Jews left in the world.

When I heard that, I immediately explained how many Jews are left in the world: around 15 million, according to the World Population Review. I then explained that there are around eight billion people on this planet, which means less than .2% of the world population is Jewish.

If six million of our Jewish ancestors weren’t murdered by cold-blooded killers in the 1940s, who knows how many millions more Jews would be alive today. They still thought there were a lot of Jews in the world. 

Then I told them how many Arabs were in the world and explained the fact that there is only one Jewish state but many Arab states and they shrugged it off. 

It is time for all of us journalists of the diaspora to speak up against the silence and educate our colleagues.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s and do not reflect those of the University Press or its staff.

About the Author
Jessica Abramsky is a Jewish university student in the United States with a background in college and freelance journalism. She currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Florida Atlantic University's student-run newspaper, the University Press.
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