It goes to say that journalism has always been a challenging game to play. Providing accurate information, changing mistakes, being threatened, you name it and it happens. When you’re a freelance, or independent journalist, the stakes are even higher. In most cases there are no big companies to have your back. You have to distribute, write, and build your platform from the ground up. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a small team to help you. With all of the challenges that come with this field, one would think that being factual is a top priority. Afterall, it’s your platform’s image and reputation on the line. For the platform we’re about to cover, these things don’t appear to matter.
Freedom Public Press is a rather questionable platform, at best. Though it was founded in February of 2019, it only maintains roughly 508 followers. There is a reason for this. According to their Facebook reviews, they stand at a 1.5 rating, something that is extremely low for a media platform. But how is it that this independent journalist came to fail in this way? The answer to this very question is exactly what we’re here to discuss.
It’s Lead, and only team member, Shara Michelle, has made many calculated mistakes over the years. Though we have all made many mistakes, our platform included, we were able to bounce back. However, unlike her, we have always upheld one critical key: To provide truthful information to be best of our ability and to correct information that we get wrong. Furthermore, we have also been known to take in the suggestions of our followers. Though this information about our own platform seems trivial, it’s actually going to play into one of the things that has lead herself to stagnate in the virtual world.
As a journalist, the ability to accept opposing views is almost a critical trait to have. It doesn’t mean you can’t debate the view; it does mean that you allow the view to be spoken in a public platform. Freedom Public Press, on the other hand, has never understood the concept. Instead, their solution to any opposing view is to simply remove the comment. Not only does this eliminate transparency, but it also brings forth a lack of trust from those who may follow the platform. For any person who wishes to do freelance journalism, especially in written articles, this is a guaranteed way of ending your career. A truth that is openly displayed by their follower count.
The spreading of information is exactly what we do in this trade. Though this is often a passion, it is one that can be destructive for a platform if they’re not careful. Regardless of the subject matter, a good journalist can present information without a personal bias. Though we have opinions on many of the things that we write about, we try to maintain an objective outlook. This means that we need to be able to write without our personal bias or emotions being involved.
For Freedom Public Press, this has never been done. In fact, the platform has a prolonged history of simply fabricating information for its viewers to read. Naturally, this tactic has brought it a lot more harm than good. In one recent post, for instance, the platform is quoted to have said the following:
Does Meko Haze- Always use criminals to do his dirty work so they get the harassment charge? Stay tunedFreedom Public Press: January 14, 2022
Although we have not found anything that would substantiate a question of this sort, we did find something else of interest. As it turned out, the lead “journalist” Shara Michelle, appears to have a personal vendetta dating back years. More disturbingly, what we found, was that this wasn’t the first time she had openly targeted, or spread outright slanderous information, about journalist, “Meko Haze.” Naturally, her post created a backlash of opposition, which she promptly deleted.
Outside of this, it appears that the entire platform was created solely for one individual case: Jamie Johnson, whom we have previously covered on this platform. Outside of that, it appears that they either share information from other platforms or share links to their YouTube videos, which we have no intention of promoting here due to their already questionable reputation. Outside of these things, we didn’t find much on the platform of notable worth.
If the intent of Freedom Public Press was to gain followers, it’s abundantly clear that it has failed. With emotional rants, outright slander and false information, and so on, the platform made many mistakes that stunted its growth. When mistakes were made, they didn’t do the responsible thing: retract the information and correct it. Instead, Shara stuck to her guns, as one may say, and effectively brought her own platform down. Deleting criticism is never good, though she has classified much of that as “excessive trolling.” When we viewed the comments that were remaining, yes, we did find trolling. However, we also found people calling her out.
The simple fact is this: when a platform destroys its own image, the trolls are going to come. That’s just a given. It is the job of any administrator to make a determination between who the trolls are, removing them, and who is simply being critical. In this aspect, she failed to do that, marking everybody into the troll category; this doesn’t work in the long term, it is only a temporary solution that will eventually backfire. For her, that is exactly what happened. Once this sort of backfire occurs, it’s virtually game over unless you rebrand yourself and learn from your mistakes. However, because her reputation is equally destroyed, she would have a very difficult time in doing that.