Reporters, media students strive for factual journalism

Recognizing what is factual news has become a little more difficult with the constant spreading of fake news and misinformation.

But there are still journalists seeking to reveal the truth and factual news.

Those who produce fabricated stories just to get a reaction, whether it is good or bad, make it hard for readers to trust what is or is not the truth.

Troylon Griffin II from Houston, a communications major at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, explained that, to him, fake news has been around since the beginning of media and journalism. But the term “Fake News” became popular after Donald Trump became president of the United States.

“People have always published false information,” said Griffin. “People do it to get their point across.”

Being objective in the communications profession leads readers to believe that you are not trying to persuade them in a certain direction, and only provide facts.

“Always be truthful in what you are saying,” said Griffin, “not always trying to have a strong agenda in your work.”

Griffin also adds that when someone has a strong agenda, when someone is very biased or is more interested in getting a reaction, there is a greater chance that their goal is to produce fake news.

“What is the point of having people read the news if it is not going to help or inform them in the proper way?” said Griffin.

Katelyn Rivera, a broadcast journalism major from Tarleton State University, says that it is important for journalists to always strive to report the truth, no matter what.

“Really try your hardest to report the facts,” said Rivera. “Not your truth or someone else’s truth, just the facts.”

Rivera asserts that when politicians hear news that they don’t want exposed, they deny the information to discredit the media and put doubt in the heads of readers. Doing this makes it difficult for journalists who are trying to uncover the truth.

Having multiple major new sources such as CNN, NBC and others is not a bad thing. But when each network favors or agrees more with the different parties, it could make believing the news hard, according to Quaneci Fraser, a broadcast journalism major from Tarleton State University.

“I do think that all news sources should be nonpartisan,” said Fraser.

Fraser also added that the local news is usually nonpartisan, so she sees a lot more people trust their local news stations rather than trusting a network station such as CNN and FOX.

“Not that there is anything wrong with network news,” explained Fraser. “I think it’s very important too. But I think that being nonpartisan and just sticking with the facts could help with preventing fake news.”

According to Jenna Horn, a senior from Midwestern State University, politicians and other people in power try to discredit the media when something they may not like is being said.

“Be as accurate as possible,” said Horn. “And own up to our factual errors.”

Sometimes spreading fake news could be detrimental to the real hardworking journalists trying to uncover the truth, according to Douglas Piles, general manager of student media at Texas A&M University.

“It bugs me when I hear people say, “Oh, that’s fake news, when I know a bunch of journalists are busting their butts every day to tell the truth,” said Piles. “Stay true to your work.”

Piles also adds that readers and future journalists should understand the difference between commentary and news.

Kate Rhoades from Brookhaven College explained that it is important for young journalists to consume a lot of news.

“Even if you are biased against a certain station or news organization, at least read some of their articles and see what they are saying,” said Rhoades. “Do the research. Be a broad consumer of news.”

Categories: News, Spring 2018

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