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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.

Lezaic: The Death of Journalistic Integrity

Luke Larsen
Angela Lezaic, opinion writer of the Daily Utah Chronicle, poses for a photo inside the J. Willard Marriott Library on the University of Utah campus in Salt Lake City on March 29, 2024. (Photo by Luke Larsen | The Daily Utah Chronicle)


I have officially spent over two years at the Daily Utah Chronicle, and it’s been a wild ride.  

I got this position after I started standing back up from the lowest point in my life. I feel lucky to have found purpose and a space to express my thoughts at a time when I needed confidence to move forward. Getting to write has helped me feel good about myself and the work I do.  

In my time here, I’ve been a writer, an editor and a writer once again. I’ve disgruntled quite a few people with my work, some of whom take a lot of time to write their own rambling think-pieces in our comment section. If I didn’t think the world had enough bigots with a platform whose only rebuttal is to shout “Marxist,” I’d encourage them to do what I did and apply for a spot on the desk.  

I’ve also connected with some wonderful people whose stories have left a lasting mark on me. I’ve had the opportunity to combine my love for writing with my passion for finding the beauty that flourishes in this dark world.  

That being said, my time as a journalist has been far from perfect.  

The Good

Before I go into the ugly side of journalism, I want to take time to express my appreciation for the wonderful community members I’ve had the privilege of talking to.  

I’ve had the chance to talk to nurses working with incarcerated people, west-side environmentalists and some of the few legislators in this state who aren’t trying to run it into the ground. I’ve spoken with professors and researchers who are experts in their fields, and with community organizers in prison abolition, trans liberation and more.  

Thank you for trusting me with your stories and with your time. I’ve learned so much from the pieces of your lives you’ve shared with me and your passion often turned my bad weeks around.  

I’ve also loved hearing from people across the world who have felt a connection to my pieces and taken the time to let me know. I never expected my words to leave the campus, let alone the Western hemisphere.  

Following a particularly vulnerable article I wrote, I felt a bit embarrassed for straying from more news-style writing. But shortly after, I received an email from a fellow Balkan diaspora member in the U.K. who related to my feelings of displacement.

More locally, I’ve gotten emails from concerned fathers who have felt gaslit by the government’s COVID-19 responses and from former law professors who shared my contempt for prison gerrymandering. I’ve had my favorite restaurant repost my review of their amazing, satanic vegan establishment.

This job has shown me that so many people care and are doing the work behind the scenes. I hope my appreciation for your commitment to bettering the world has come through in my words, but if not, let me thank you again.  

This world can make you feel helpless. Journalism helped me feel less so, but it also woke me up to how the media can be — and is — wielded as a weapon. People use it to push their agendas or are often careless with the power their words carry. 

The Bad  

We need journalism to keep ourselves informed. Yet much of today’s journalism hides truth and reality behind passivity and the wishful fantasy of objectivity.

When journalists do attempt to present news to readers accurately, they’re met with pushback. I, myself, have faced attempts at censorship and intimidation when I’ve written about the Palestinian struggle for liberation.

I’ve realized that journalism is a shark tank where opportunists chase stories for content and don’t allow for slow, intentional writing. Everything is about numbers.

I’ve felt shame at Western journalists who help preserve the American empire and then wonder why no one trusts the news. 

This culture in the world of journalism trickles down to students trying to get a foot in the door. It produces cliques in leadership, a constant push to meet endless quotas and the underlying feeling of never doing enough. 

This potent combination of factors forced me to examine my priorities and take a step back from my old position as opinion desk editor. Going back to writing was the best decision I could have made. I feel more in control of my work, I’m doing what I care about again and my mental health has improved drastically.  

The Ugly

My last semester at the U has been a journey to find my way back to my voice. With the horrors brewing here and abroad, I find the question of what I want to use my voice for to be more pertinent than ever.  

I know what I don’t want to use it for: I don’t want to use it to climb the career ladder and peddle false hope to readers about voting the bad politicians out. I don’t want to use it to steal time from readers in the form of clickbait. And I certainly don’t want to use it to cover up human suffering.

We should all aspire to be the rare breed of journalists who move forward with honor, integrity and care. We must look to Gazan journalists like Plestia Alaqad, Bisan Owda and Motaz Azaiza — to name a few — and ask ourselves where our priorities lie.

Currently, very few journalists should take pride in themselves for their work. We must all ask ourselves what it means to be brave or stop wasting everyone’s time.  


[email protected] 


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About the Contributors
Angela Lezaic
Angela Lezaic, Opinion Writer
Angela Lezaic is a Serbian-American writer for the opinion desk at the Daily Utah Chronicle. She is a sociology major and greatly values community building and human connection. Much of her writing is influenced by her experiences as a daughter of a working-class refugee family, and she hopes her narrative resonates with those who share this experience. In her free time, she enjoys listening to angry girl bands and lovingly bullying her friends.
Luke Larsen
Luke Larsen, Photographer
(he/him) Luke started at the Chronicle in the fall of 2023. He is currently studying anthropology. He has worked as a professional portrait photographer since 2021 in Waco, Texas, where he has lived for the past ten years. He is originally from Los Angeles, California and loves Dim Sum.

Comments (3)

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    TalaMay 17, 2024 at 10:22 pm

    Absolutely love this

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    Lexi HallMay 15, 2024 at 3:04 pm

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    Lexi HallMay 15, 2024 at 2:30 pm

    Amazing!! 👏👏