How have your beliefs about news changed?

This is a time of radical change in the way we define, gather and share news. But some things about journalism remain the same as they were a decade ago, like the preparation it takes to do a good job interviewing an expert.

On the first day of Environ 320, a University of Michigan course in environmental and public health journalism, each of us jotted down ten statements about news that began with “I believe…” Now, the course is nearly finished. It’s time to re-examine those statements.

Whether you are part of the course or not, how have your beliefs about news changed over the past four months? Or not. Why? Students, please include links to at least two course readings from our Future of News folder in your answers.

The public is invited to discuss these ideas at our end-of-term News Entrepreneurs’ Pitchfest from 9 a.m. to noon in Space 2435, North Quad, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

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About emiliaaskari

Journalist, teacher, news game designer. Promoting digital literacy and content creation in the public interest.

15 Responses to “How have your beliefs about news changed?”

  1. This is my original I Believe statement:
    I believe
    that the news can make a huge difference
    that the news should be a fair and accurate resource for all
    that news is a way to get people involved
    that the media has a duty to the public to avoid misleading information
    that the media should use its power and influence for good
    that the future of news is to concisely report events
    that although newspapers are going out of style, we are consumers of news more than ever
    8that the best journalism can help unite communities and incite change
    that as a journalist, I can use my abilities to spread awareness
    that writing for the general public is an honor

    I still agree with everything above; however, I think that these statements could be improved with a discussion of the difficulties and complexities involved in raising awareness, informing the public, and writing fairly. Furthermore, a new modern problem is arising that has to do with the important, but tricky conversations had in the comment section of most online news sources. As a Poynter article (link at bottom of comment) states, “Being a 21st century journalist means curating news. It should also mean curating comments.” I would also add this to my list of beliefs, because I think that the comment sections of new sources can get out of control if not put into a respectful context. However, if a comment thread is ‘curated’ (note, this doesn’t mean censored), everyone can feel open to sharing their perspective and thoughtfully engaging in discussion that can enrich a story even more.

    As I have become a more informed and frequent reader of the news, my seventh statement stands out to me as one of the most current beliefs. A New York Times article (link at bottom of comment) states,”The news waits for no one. But newspapers might start asking readers to — at least for print copies.” To me and most of my peers, reading a newspaper (or even a magazine) these days is reserved for Sunday mornings or the waiting room. Heck, sometimes even those moments are filled by a smartphone’s easy access to concise, up-to-date new. Thus, news isn’t going out of style, its just evolving and adapting to the 21st century, which if it makes it easier for the public to access, then I’m a firm supporter.

    http://www.poynter.org/how-tos/digital-strategies/189313/how-journalists-can-turn-their-stories-into-conversations/
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/04/business/media/as-newspapers-cut-analysts-ask-if-readers-will-remain.html?_r=4&pagewanted=all&

  2. My ten beliefs in the beginning of the semester were:

    1. I believe that reporting news should not be focused on shock value and scaring the audience into thinking that hardships are imminent.
    2. I believe that integrity is a very important aspect in journalism and delivering the news that most people fail to uphold due to various factors.
    3. I believe that the news should solely consist of objective, tangible facts and evidence, and that opinions, speculations, and the like should be excluded and set aside in another section.
    4. I believe that stories and reports should try and avoid choosing sides blatantly.
    5. I believe that journalists should attempt their best to expand their vocabulary to avoid redundancy and as an attempt to create their own personal voice in the news world.
    6. I believe that it is important for writers to have at least a small sense of humor to avoid bogging down their readers with mundane facts, and to help create a lively atmosphere.
    7. I believe that journalism needs to exist in order to keep people informed of current events globally.
    8. I believe social media and news/journalism go hand-in-hand because social media users are constantly bombarded with information, some of which could be as informative as watching the news or reading articles from a newspaper.
    9. I believe that in order to be a successful journalist, one would have to persevere and completely dedicate him or herself to their personal cause while remembering to honor journalistic and personal values.
    10. I believe that the only way to improve one’s journalistic skills is through rigorous practice and repetition.

    I still believe in the majority of these, except for 4 and 6. I do think that sometimes, where justified, our opinions do matter in articles, such as the opinion column; this really helps give insight on the issue and readers may then read about something that they could have missed. This also allows them to give reasons as to why their opinion is justified on a particular topic.

    I do think that my opinion has changed on number 6 after reading quite a lot of journalistic articles where the journalist “removes” him or herself from the piece. This is definitely the best way to deliver unbiased, objective news, and humor isn’t always appropriate.

    The article from the Christian Science Monitor talks about the death of the newspaper in the future as a way that would disconnect community and prevent people from keeping up to date on issues. I do somewhat disagree with this. I do believe the newspaper should be kept from becoming obsolete, but with the emergence of social media and online news sources, I’m finding my main sources of news online more and more these days because events could be spread so quickly through these outlets.

    Also the article from Pontyr commented on how important it has become for readers to comment on journalists’ posts. I do think that this is a strong advantage for news sources online because they can receive instant feedback from people all over the world, which in turn could eventually lead to a discussion. This somehow allows the writers to bring their own personal styles to make the article more personal, something the newspaper couldn’t do.

    I think the future of news and journalism has become more and more open for readers to talk about and question; we don’t always accept everything for what it is anymore, and have learned to become skeptical and perform research before accepting it. I do believe this will bring complexity, but at the same time will cause us to work harder to find the truth.

    http://www.poynter.org/news/media-innovation/189313/how-journalists-can-turn-their-stories-into-conversations/

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2012/1111/Is-the-death-of-newspapers-the-end-of-good-citizenship

  3. Here is my original I believe statement:
    1) I believe that environmental journalism is necessary to raise public awareness about environmental issues.
    2) I believe that everyone can be a journalist if they have passion for the topic, and reliable sources.
    3) I believe that my greatest strength as a journalist is the ability to be objective if need be.
    4) I believe that the role professional news organizations play in my life will help shape my abilities in scientific writing, which is a large part of the field I’m interested in.
    5) I believe that interviewing people about news is necessary in order to gage public opinion/interest.
    6) I believe that writing for the general public is crucial in order to raise awareness.
    7) I believe that the best journalism is the kind that keeps you captivated until the end, and provokes questions, thoughts, and feelings.
    8) I believe that my greatest challenge as a journalist is to have good readability, and have good introductions.
    9) I believe that writing for the general public makes important news accessible to everyone who wants to read it.
    10) I believe that the future of news is that it will become fully accessible through many different applications on phones and continue to be internet based as technology expands.

    To some extent, I believe in all of these still. However there are some things I would change. In number 2, I stated that I thought passion was necessary to be a journalist. I now think that you don’t need to be passionate about the subject you’re writing about- you just need to know how to grab the attention of the your audience- the people who are passionate about the topic you’re writing about. Though I still agree with 6, I do think that some articles need to be more audience driven, and not just for the general public. Some articles that need to be published need to appeal to certain crowds and certain crowds only. This applies to number 9 as well. I also don’t think I wrote enough about the importance of ethics and building trust in your publications. They must be reputable. There is an article that speaks to this about the Detroit News “selling its soul,” aka trading reviews for advertiser dollars. This speaks to the importance of remaining reputable and can be found here. http://jalopnik.com/5782691/how-the-detroit-news-sold-its-soul.
    I also feel that I did not focus enough on the difficulty of bridging the gap between science and journalism. Journalists cannot be expected to be experts on every scientific topic they write about, but I did not realize how difficult it is until we had guest speakers who spoke to this. An article about this idea can be found here. http://phenomena.nationalgeographic.com/2013/05/22/a-guide-for-scientists-on-giving-comments-to-journalists/.

  4. Here are my original 10 statements: I believe that…
    – the future of news will be told through different technologies.
    – my greatest challenge as a journalist is to report concepts that I do not necessary understand completely.
    – it is important to hear both sides of a story and understand the opinions of many.
    – a good article should be accurate, compelling, and be strongly aware of the audience.
    – the most challenging thing about being a journalist is to dig for stories that are compelling, true, and not overdone.
    – that the biggest problem with journalism today is that many people believe anything that is on the Internet, without doing the necessary research.
    – the visual forms of journalism are just as important as the written.
    – the best journalism is one that is relevant to the time, clear, and well researched.
    – the role professional news organizations play in my life will increase, as I get older and more mature.
    – my greatest strength as a journalist is recording visuals that can stand alone, or with a description; I could use practice on my writing skills.

    The statements that I said in the beginning of the semester still remain true to me, however I feel I now have greater knowledge to back up my beliefs. One idea I didn’t raise was that News sources have to be careful about the way they word and report information. It is easy to fall into the category of being an opinionated or bias writer.

    In the article Is the death of newspapers the end of good citizenship? by Jessica Bruder, the article raises the question if it’s good that social media is taking over printed newspapers. It said, “When daily newspapers die, communities become less connected and collaborative, new studies suggest.” Although this takes away an outlet of spreading awareness on events in the community, there are other forms of media that allow the same community to be connected. Transitioning from printed newspapers to online news sources, forums, and Facebook groups will prove to be a more cost efficient way in my opinion. I also think less printed news means the articles that are printed will be more unique and important, rather than silly filler stories.

    The only problem I see, is in places such as New Orleans where not everyone has Internet, the use of print newspapers may still be necessary. In New Orleans, “Community members say a lack of daily news coverage leaves Haverhill residents in the dark about local events. If we’re throwing a fundraiser or trying to advance a community cause, it’s a lot harder to get coverage than it used to be.” In college campuses and universities however, there is an excess of computers and Internet sources for students to explore news quickly and easily. So in that retrospect, it is definitely situational; newspapers must adapt to their environment.

    In Erik Qualman’s Social Media Video 2013, I was shocked at the statistic that 90% of consumers trust peer reviews, while 14% of people trust advertisements. In this social media revolution, it’s important to realize that reporters and personal opinions are taken over corporations and big business’s claims on their own products. Businesses have to take the right steps to get their clients to support their business. In this case, word of mouth, or as the video says “world of mouth” is more prevalent than I thought in allowing businesses and news to grow.

  5. Here are my belief statements from the beginning of the semester:
    1. I believe that journalism is important because of the potential impact it can have on society.
    2. Not only does it inform and keep people up to speed with what is going on around the world, it can also change people’s perspectives and views on the way they live and think about life.
    3. Journalism also keeps us connected through common knowledge about current events and the environment around us, even though we all live different lives and experience different things.
    4. Journalism is a powerful tool that can be used to promote positive, as well as negative, change in the world.
    5. Some of the biggest challenges of successful journalism include being fair, being able to see an issue from multiple perspectives and being able to have reasonable, well-supported claims.
    6. Modern journalism can’t provide the human connection that being in physical proximity and contact with others can provide.
    7. Journalism has the ability to bring us together and build walls between us.
    8. The future of journalism is tied closely in its compatibility with technological devices and forms of communication, such as the Internet or radio.
    9. Everyone can be a journalist if you have an idea you are willing to promote.
    10. Interviewing people for news can be a great way to gain new perspectives of the world around you.

    For the most part, I still agree with most of them. If I had to the chance to edit them, I would probably make statement 1 more specific or probably delete it as the impact of journalism is more specifically addressed in the latter points. Looking at this list and thinking about my experience with journalism through this class so far, I more strongly agree with statements 8 and 10 in particular.

    After interviewing so many people for my news feature and profile story, I have gained valuable insights about environmental health and have definitely gained new perspectives of the way I see environmental health as a result (statement 10). I have interviewed quite a few UM professionals working hard to protect the public’s health in the area of epigenetics and obesity. It’s been really interesting hearing their approach to identifying barriers that are preventing people from being healthy, whether it’s making healthy choices or minimizing health hazards in their environment. It has also been interesting hearing how their life as a scientist connects with their personal life. Oftentimes, they believe so much in the work that they’re doing that they just can’t help but to talk about their personal life in the context of public health. It’s really inspiring to see their passion for caring for the health of those around them and see how this passion makes up such a personal part of their life that it isn’t just a profession for them. Furthermore, I’ve improved on my interviewing skills from talking with multiple people. From the HRNewDaily article (http://hrnewsdaily.com/six-simple-stupid-interview-tips/?goback=%2Egde_79756_member_191692481), I have improved the most on with knowing the talking points. Oftentimes I get distracted and too concerned with going with the flow of the conversation that it becomes difficult to get what I need for my story. I’ve learned over the course of time to gently steer the conversation in a way that is comfortable and invitational for the interviewee to talk about the topic at hand for my story. I agree with the article that it helps a lot to take yourself out of the conversation and focus on listening to your interviewee and taking direction in the conversation so they don’t have to repeat themselves and that the conversation is going somewhere.

    I also continue to agree with statement 8. There is great potential to use social media for journalism as more and more people join social media sites and companies like Facebook are doing more to monopolize people’s time, money, and attention. One quote that stood out to me in the Guardian article (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/08/facebook-business-plan-utility-monopoly) was how someone working at Facebook described it as “we’re like electricity.” If Facebook is able to see people’s need for ease of connection even at the expense of their personal information and sees it as something profitable, something worth exploiting and turning into a ‘public utility,’ then why can’t journalism take advantage of this as well? Facebook hasn’t won the race to becoming a monopoly yet. There is still time to get in on this. If our intention is to do good by keeping everyone informed on events going around the world as well as sharing multiple valuable insights and perspectives, it is worth inveting in meeting people’s need to connect with those around them while providing information and insights at the same time. If journalism is able to adapt and take advantage of this, there is great potential and impact for the future of journalism.

  6. My previous views were:
    1.that the role professional news organizations play in my life will help to make me a more aware, more productive global citizen and a more efficiently functioning member of global society.
    2.that the most challenging thing about being a journalist is maintain your integrity and your reputation while trying to bring relevant stories to the public’s attention without revealing sources or endangering the lives of others.
    3.that the future of news is evolving into what is popular as opposed to what is accurate/pertinent to the livelihood and well-being of every day citizens.
    4.that everyone can be a journalist if they write about topics they are passionate about and can commit to being a voice or giving a perspective on sensitive issues.
    5.that my greatest strength as a journalist is my boldness and my curiosity to search for truth in everything and everyone.
    6.that my greatest challenge as a journalist is maneuvering the world of journalism and learning the ends and outs of the industry.
    7.that the best journalism occurs when popular opinions are disregarded.
    8.that the biggest problem with journalism today is popular culture and journalists who desire to get fame and acclaim as opposed to informing the public in cases where cold hard facts are available and at their disposal.
    9.that the biggest opportunity facing news organizations today is social media and attention celebrities attract in certain cases. (Ex: Angelina Jolie and her humanitarian work).
    10.that a great idea for a new way of delivering news is social media. More specifically, one can stay relevant through mediums like Instagram. (Ex: The National Geographic Instagram Page)
    11.that interviewing people about news is a great way to get a reader/viewer to relate to your cause or story.
    12.that writing for the general public is necessary OR could be considered selling your soul depending on your definition of the public.

    I believe…that journalists have one of the most difficult jobs in the world. The quality of their story is completely dependent upon their ability to present a “key” angle in an unbiased tone. My views have changed on many aspects of reporting. For one, I’ve realized there is no right way to tell a story. There is a popular way and an unpopular way, among others, but there is a variety of ways to tell a story and a good writer will not be limited to common means or producing a story. I uphold my opinion that writing for the general public is a necessity but I have a newfound belief—journalists must be consistently held accountable for the content of their pieces and we as a public must charge journalists to always report truthful, fact-filled articles. Reflecting on the media-fueled mass hysteria surrounding the ebola outbreak in West Africa and later in the United States, I believe more should be done to stop journalists from “stretching the truth” in situations and circumstances that could change unfairly behaviors, opinions, and atmospheres, internationally.

    As a soon-to-be graduate, the scary and not-so-distant future is quickly approaching. I thought the article titled, “How to Succeed in Journalism When You Can’t Afford An Internship” was extremely thought provoking piece that all graduating seniors should read. Is journalism reserved for the well-off or can new graduates take part in the freelance industry? I completely agree with her opinions of Graduate School being a sort of “debtor’s refuge” and loved how she acknowledged her privileges at the end of the piece. Overall, I think this article relates to my 6th point that “my greatest challenge as a journalist is maneuvering the world of journalism and learning the ends and outs of the industry”. As for my second article, I chose the Social Media Video 2013. I felt the music represented a sort of social media impending sense of doom and the facts listed were scary, to say the least. With 50% of the world population being under the age of 30, it is scary to think we are the new “social media” generation. If anything, I think these two articles highlight the premise that modes of journalism are constantly evolving and we are continuously finding ways, from freelance work to video clips and documentaries, to report what is important to use and our view of the world.

    My two articles:
    http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/hazlitt/longreads/how-succeed-journalism-when-you-cant-afford-internship

  7. My original statements:

    I believe…
    1. that one of the most challenging things about being a journalist is to tell the story they want to tell, while also navigating business interests and trying to appease the short attention span of the audience.
    2. that another challenging thing about being a journalist is reporting all sides of a story; many issues have more than two, black-and-white opposing sides.
    3. that the best journalism has the public’s best interests at heart.
    4. that anyone can be a journalist if they know how to craft a story fairly and have access to the right sources.
    5. that the future of news will include more multimedia technologies and more human-centered pieces.
    6. that the biggest opportunity facing news organizations today is utilizing new technologies and social media to reach a wider, more global audience than ever before.
    7. that it is important to actually read news before discussing or analyzing it.
    8. that my greatest strength as a journalist is crafting an organized story.
    9. that my greatest challenge as a journalist is assertively going after information the story’s principle subjects are reluctant to share.
    10. that writing for the general public is exciting, especially when I am able to see my name in print.

    Four months ago, I had a fairly traditional view on journalism. I believed that journalists were people who have been formally trained, usually with a bachelor’s degree. I believed the term “journalism” primarily referred to text articles in a print publication (or online version of a print publication). Now, I have a greater appreciation for different types of journalism, such as photojournalism and creative uses of new media. I like the Poynter article about getting readers involved in discussing and creating the news. In the ever-expanding media landscape, I believe it is important for journalists to make the best use of the many tools they have available.
    However, my overall beliefs about journalism have not significantly changed. The essay on one person’s struggle to make it in journalism really hit home for me. As someone who has tried to break in to the media industry, I understand how important personal connections and unpaid internships are, and that not everyone can get these things. It’s likely from these experiences that I do not believe journalism a necessarily open to anyone who wants to be a journalist.

    Links to the two articles:
    http://www.poynter.org/news/media-innovation/189313/how-journalists-can-turn-their-stories-into-conversations/

    http://penguinrandomhouse.ca/hazlitt/longreads/how-succeed-journalism-when-you-cant-afford-internship

  8. My original ‘I Believe’ statement:

    I believe that the most challenging thing about being a journalist is providing trustworthy and accurate news. A journalist has a social and moral duty to provide truthful news to people of all backgrounds without perpetuating false information and biases. While it is difficult to shed ones personal bias, it is necessary to approach topics with as much fairness as possible. While it is easy to forget, journalism and news in general have a huge influence over their followers and anyone who may read their publications. One of the largest problems with news today is that personal bias and political relations dictate the content of news media sites. This problem only creates a general mistrust amongst the public when it comes to news content. This absolve of trust is accompanied by the opportunity for individuals to adhere to a specific media outlet which echoes their preexisting opinions. Unfortunately, the consequence of these biased new sources can be grave. Once an individual believes they know something to be true, it is very difficult to convince them otherwise. This issue becomes amplified when discussing foundations of scientific and environmental problems. Thus, the most important thing a journalist can do is provide truthful and accurate information.

    I still largely agree with my original presumptions about news and media and the importance of remaining factual. I still believe that it is important for journalists to provide truthful and accurate information. I would add the caveat that it is essential for journalists to provide stories that impact people. It is great is a journalist can provide a story that is accurate but if it doesn’t impact people by providing information on a relevant topic or shedding light on an issue, is it necessarily something people will pay attention to?
    The future of news is a highly contested topic but one thing I firmly believe is that news will never die. While it may transform and take on new mediums it will always be a vital component of society. Take the New York Times article “A Pulitzer Prize, but Without a Newsroom to Put It In” which looks at the small virtual climate oriented newspaper with just seven staff members. “Some observers suggested that the Pulitzer was a statement of sorts by the five judges that selected the national reporting winner — a way to support both aggressive coverage of the subject matter and the thrifty way InsideClimate News goes about it. At least two other nonprofit sites are dedicated to climate coverage, The Daily Climate and Climate Central.” News has certainly transformed from the days of paper but that does not diminish its value.
    I was curious about the article “Is the death of newspapers the end of good citizenship?” from the Christian Science Monitor. It raised some interesting points about research indicating that “fewer people vote after their communities lose a daily print newspaper. Fewer run for office. Fewer boycott – or buy – something based on what they think of a company’s values. Fewer contact public leaders to voice opinions. Fewer pitch in with neighborhood groups. More incumbent politicians get reelected. And these things happen despite the presence of digital and broadcast media.” While I found this an interesting concept, these statements also perplexed me. I don’t think the lack of print news fuels these issues. While I do agree that it could make it more difficult for organizations to spread the word detailing their work and even make community issues difficult to access, I think this is simply a side effect of the current media evolution. We are in the process of transforming from paper dominated to digital media and this means we are still searching for solutions to news coverage. A quick look at the Internet Map (which can be found at http://internet-map.net/#.UGSSsandYkQ.facebook) sheds light on the power and potential of digital news.

    Articles Cited:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/17/business/media/insideclimate-news-hopes-to-build-on-pulitzer.html?pagewanted=2&_r=4&ref=business

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2012/1111/Is-the-death-of-newspapers-the-end-of-good-citizenship

    http://internet-map.net/#.UGSSsandYkQ.facebook

  9. I believe that my greatest challenge as a journalist is deciding to stop gathering information and start synthesizing.
    I believe that the best journalism is well-supported by thoughtful research.
    I believe that interviewing people about news is a key to understanding different perspectives and fully developing a story.
    I believe that writing for the general public is complex because you’re indirectly conveying the personal significance of that topic while giving them interesting and developed content to read.
    I believe that my greatest strength as a journalist is a desire to distance myself from a topic and be fair.
    I believe that the role professional news organizations play in my life will continue to impact me as it has but that I’ll be more aware of the impacts.
    I believe that a good and bad facet of journalism is that most journalists are specialized in one area of news.
    I believe that the future of news is in increasingly short segments—I don’t have faith in 60 Minutes to last for generations.
    I believe that everyone can be a journalist if they have a desire to communicate with people.
    I believe that the biggest opportunity facing news organizations today is an increasingly educated public that will be critical of news stories.

    My second statement gave a broad view of journalistic practice. I still believe it’s true, but in learning a lot more about execution of journalism, I no longer believe it’s that simple. This New York Times Article outlines some of the obstacles to well-researched and thoughtful journalism–namely, finance. It’s just not possible to fund all the investigative journalism that was commissioned before because there are fewer subscriptions and fewer advertisements being sold. And I used to think that it was a matter of people switching to online news consumption, but based on a few communications like Erik Qualman’s social media video and the Internet Map , I think people are just reading less news than they used to. Are news outlets keeping pace with the technological revolution is a huge question. There are dedicated individuals who perform investigative journalism in a successful and engaging way, but it’s hard to keep pace with the shifting attention of the public.

  10. What I had written at the beginning of the semester:
    I believe the biggest problem with journalism today is the lack of ease of finding unbiased information.
    I believe that the best way of delivering news is by using the Internet, I keep up to date with a lot of news because people I follow on the Internet share information and links to popular news websites.
    I believe that writing for the general public is very difficult, because it is hard to present information in a way that everyone will be interested in, and hope that the information will go viral.
    I believe that journalism and news is being revolutionized by the growing use of the Internet, allowing more people to get the information, but less people are actually consuming it.
    I believe that humor now plays a larger part in news, and that forms of news that accompany humor are very successful in getting information out there.
    I believe that my greatest strength as a journalist is that I always seek correct information rather than quickly falling into believing the first thing I see on a subject.
    I believe that my greatest challenge as a journalist is my interviewing skills, which I hope to improve on in the near future.
    I believe that everyone can become a journalist if they become involved in an issue enough and are passionate enough to do the work needed to inform others of it.
    I believe that the future of news is hard to fathom. Looking at news even 10 years ago, no one would have ever imagined that it would have changed so much in the ways it did so fast.
    I believe that there will always be people who have the drive to educate the public about current issues, and are willing to put their lives on the line to do so.

    I think everything I said here is still true. The type of journalism that most people access, which I think is still television, is terribly biased and full of misinformation. I also still strongly believe that humor along with journalism is still very effective, especially considering in the readings almost every week there was a segment of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert included. I think that a lot of what can help people get good information is not from the journalist, because through the readings in the class, I have become greatly aware of how many good journalists and articles are out there, they just aren’t the ones that everyone is reading. We also read a lot about media literacy in MediaActive, and I have tried to pass that information on, especially to my FoxNews loving grandfather, who I have written about previously.

    In terms of my greatest challenge, which I said was interviewing, it was much easier than expected, and I actually quite enjoyed it. I think my greatest challenge today would be keeping myself out of the situation and staying unbiased.

    I still believe that the greatest challenge will be educating the public, and getting them to care about what you are writing. With the internet, which is revolutionizing the news industry in both good and bad ways, it is making it easier to gain access to the news, but is also making it more difficult to find good journalism for some people. I still fear that people will take political journalists as actual journalists, that are not looking to educate the people, but have other motives, and hope that there will be a rise in media literacy, that problem will dwindle.

  11. My original I belief statement:
    1. I believe that the journalism should contain both attract public’s eyes and state ideas critically.
    2. I believe that the most challenging thing about being a journalist is not only stating news in public’s preference, but also keeping news spread to every place.
    3. I believe that everyone can be a journalist if each person has confidence and passion on journal.
    4. I believe that my greatest challenge as a journalist is stating a good news that getting consent and respect from people.
    5. I believe that the future of news is more necessary in people’s life, and sometimes news will affect people’s choice.
    6. I believe that interviewing people about news is earning more substantial information, because news from interview is first hand news.
    7. I believe that writing for the general public is about transmitting information to people; because of this, writer should cares about what is the public’s thought after viewing.
    8. I believe that that my greatest strength as a journalist is getting different real world experiences, which is a development and improvement for both life and career goal.
    9. I believe that the most frequently used way for publishing and spreading news is through internet publishing methods.
    10. I believe that journalism plays more or less role in each one’s life; we might be mentored by these news.

    Throughout the four months, by beginning with knowing none about news to today’s knowing some about news, I think I got some sorts of improvement. Through the class, I found the media agents for news publicity and the way of telling a news story are very important. These two sides might decide whether this news could be accepted by people or not. I cited two articles below, the Facebook and newspaper are two common media for spreading news for people. However, in recent year, people are more likely to get news through new mediation method, the Facebook, instead of the traditional method, the newspaper.There should be many reasons account for this. First, more total number population of youth and adult than the total number of population of elder people in US. Since traditional newspaper is generally used among elder people, who did not know how to process the laptop. Any one who knows how to use the laptop will choose the Facebook, because it is convenient and free. Also, after viewing news friends could share their views toward these news. People could talk to each other on Facebook. It is like communication corner for people, not only limited as a news media. Sometimes, news generated on Facebook are ahead of time by publishing from newspaper. For example, if some place had a theft event, people who experienced this event could write the news on Facebook. Then, this news will spread through sharing around immediately. But, for newspaper, people who get news still need o report to editor for editing on the newspaper.This will lead wasted time.
    The Facebook is a step forward in the world of news.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/08/facebook-business-plan-utility-monopoly

    http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2012/1111/Is-the-death-of-newspapers-the-end-of-good-citizenship

  12. My original “I Believe” Statement:
    I believe that the future of news is….dire.

    I believe that news is stuck in a transition between old and new that is disrupting the flow of information to society.

    I believe that more often than not news is misguided, partisan or insignificant.

    I believe that we hold our future in our hands, and consequently how we will portray that future to ourselves and the world around us.

    I believe that television has killed news. News stories have become jokes and subjects for slander.

    I believe that what was once a field that pushed America forward, is now holding America back.

    I believe that social media has created a false security of being informed, yet has become for some the sole means for which to connect to the still beating heart of truth.

    Yet I believe that we can change.

    I believe that the truth is too important to ignore, and that there are too many people who care for it disappear.

    I believe that way we consume news must change, but together we can provide a future we are proud of.

    ~~~

    Throughout the semester I think the most important thing I came to realize, is that news is not static. You cannot pinpoint what news is today or will be tomorrow, therefore what one does or does not believe is really irrelevant.

    We saw how news has infiltrated every angle, every adaption, every form of which it can be used to tell the story at hand. In the end, it does not matter how exactly “news” is given, it is what is given and why it is important.

    I think that putting a label on what is and is not news is truly what is holding us back. Journalists are artists, and therefore cannot be expected to use only one tool to paint a picture. When the world is one’s canvas there is no way one can stand still and expect to paint to whole picture.

    So many wonderful changes have been made that make people more aware, and so many more wonderful ideas are brought forth every day.

    I believe that the future of news is not dire. From what I have seen it is quite the opposite. So what if it is no longer the big Daily Plant-like scene that it was in the past. Today it is something even better.

    News is not defined by an inky piece of paper or a building or even a company. It is defined by people with great ideas: which we are far from lacking.

  13. Here are my original statements:

    I believe that the future of news will be focused on local issues that have immediate consequential salience to the consumers of that news. This belief is rooted in my hope that my generation will become less enthralled with intangible national or global scandals and more concerned with local issues.

    I believe that everyone can be a journalist if they are able to put themselves in the shoes of the person or topic they are writing about. If a journalist can have a solid grounding in their topics perspective they can employ a variety of techniques from there.

    I believe that the best journalist is someone who completely immerses themselves in a topic or culture, gonzo journalism, a journalist like Hunter S. Thompson.

    I believe that the biggest problem with journalism today is the variety of mediums through which people consume their news and thus finding a consistent news source.

    I believe that the biggest opportunity for journalism in the future is currently the biggest problem. Once journalism starts to become slightly more streamlined and consistent on the Internet then the barriers to publishing will be eliminated and the opportunity for huge numbers of people to submit work to newspapers will be opened.

    I believe that a great new idea for delivering news is a website with a huge depository of articles where the user submits a variety of topics they are interested in and the website generates articles based on your submitted interests and then emails those articles to you on a random basis. Like a Stumbleupon.com strictly for news.

    I believe that writing for the general public is a civil service

    ……………………………………………….
    After spending time in class and consuming a fair amount of news there are a few things I would change about my original statements.

    First I want to totally retract my statement concerning the biggest opportunity for journalism moving forward. I now think that we have already reached that point I was talking about. So I suppose the biggest opportunity moving forward would be for journalists to establish a niche consumer base. WIth low costs to entry on the internet and tons of potential customers with varying interests, It is relatively simple to establish a niche journalism site.

    Second, I now believe that the biggest problem facing journalism is inaccuracy. There is so much information out there it is seemingly impossible to establish trust in something you read on the internet.

    Other than that I still believe in everything I wrote.

    I am grateful to have had the experience of seeing the process of news. I gained invaluable knowledge about what makes news into NEWS.

    Listening to the the panel at the EPA meeting talk about the future of electric cars and their economic viability was a surreal moment because a lot of the small comments they were dropping could be extrapolated into full blown news stories. So just learning where to get first hand news stories and what constitutes NEWS was the highlight of the class for me.

  14. I apologize for not realizing that this was due by Wednesday at midnight. However, here are my original “I Believe” statements:

    I believe that the future of news will be more proactive instead of so morbid because our generation is innovative.

    I believe that the most challenging thing about being a journalist is writing about a topic you have no prior knowledge on.

    I believe that the biggest opportunity facing news organizations today is getting ahead of what comes after social media… it’s unlikely that Twitter will be popular forever.

    I believe that my greatest strength as a journalist is my training in writing and my ability to effectively tell a story with words.

    I believe that my greatest challenge as a journalist is stepping outside my comfort zone to interview people and ask difficult questions.

    I believe that the best journalism tells the whole truth.

    I believe that the role professional news organizations play in my life will change the way I impact the world by changing what I know about it.

    I believe that interviewing people about news is an interesting way to learn more about how people absorb information because most people hear one story many different ways.

    I believe that the biggest problem with journalism today is that most of what I read and hear about is depressing instead of uplifting.

    I believe that writing for the general public is a great way to expand my own skills as well as provide people with the opportunity to understand an issue from a new perspective.
    ……………………………….
    I still agree with most of these statements.

    One I would say may have changed is the first one; not because I don’t believe that anymore, but because it seems irrelevant now after going through this course. What really matters is a topic more serious. I now believe that the future of news will be more proactive, not instead of so morbid, but in a more socially just way, because our generation cares about social justice more than any one before us. Take Ferguson for example. Young people are taking the stage to get the news and word out. This ties in closely with this article: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Society/2012/1111/Is-the-death-of-newspapers-the-end-of-good-citizenship. It’s all about how a newspapers end could lead to less governmental accountability and citizens being uninformed. I definitely feel like this is probably true in smaller towns and rural areas as opposed to cities like Ann Arbor where you couldn’t go a day without hearing at least a bit about social justice or other national issues.

    Another one I would tweak is “I believe that the best journalism tells the whole truth.” While this is still true for me, I would also say that the best journalism is about the best relationships. I now believe that the best stories come from journalists who build a professional relationship with not only their story subjects and interview sources, but also their mentors. You can really see this is the videos on this link: http://newsroom.journalists.org/2012/09/21/confession-session-what-makes-you-successful/. All of these people talk about how they are successful journalists because of great stories and great people. This class has definitely taught me that the humanistic side is the most captivating. People want to read about relatable people.

    I’ve definitely grown as a writer and journalist in the last four months. My beliefs haven’t necessarily changed, but have expanded greatly. I know so much more and can form better opinions about news and journalism.

  15. My original “I Believe” Statement

    I believe that the future of news will continue to grow and allow people to become more aware of the world and what is happening in it. News strikes interest and concerns about life events and will hopefully bring people closer. Any preconceived ideas will be challenged and issues will be made known to the world for clearer answers and solutions.
    I believe that everyone can be a journalist, it just takes the know-hows of where to go to make your story publicly known. Resources are a huge advantage which is why it can be simpler for professional journalists to make their opinions known than someone who has no insider information. It does, however, feel that the internet is becoming a great tool for the general public to make posts through social media sites and blogging to gather like-minded people. Google is also a good source for learning about connections in journalism.
    I believe that the most challenging thing about being a journalist is making people care about the subject matter because there is so much news, both innovative and tragic, that makes it hard to distinguish your article as being an important read. A topic usually involves a lot of background knowledge which can be tiresome and boring to the reader. A captivating article is hard to sell amongst a sea of information.
    I believe that interviewing people about news presents a raw form of information because you can see the interviewer’s body language and hear the intonations in their voice as clues to how they really feel about what is being talked about.
    I believe that no matter what I believe, news will always be around to persuade the public into thinking a certain way about a subject matter. News has an agenda, and sometimes the truth is hidden to meet that agenda, but as a consumer of information it is our job to take every “truth” with a grain of salt.

    ———————————————————————

    After taking this Environmental Journalism course, several of my opinions have changed. I believe that NOT everyone can be a journalist and it takes more than resources to be an effective, non-bias writer. Not only do journalists need to contact people in a timely manner, but they need to ask the right questions to get the interesting answers. Also, understanding every topic a journalist covers in great depth is difficult, especially when interviewing an expert who will most likely use jargon. Taking all that information and writing an article where everyone can understand it with precision and detail is crucial and difficult.
    I think the most challenging thing about being a journalist is not putting your own opinion in the article. Instead, I need to look to experts in the field who are credible so the article has a fair and strong response.
    I think that journalists have a responsibility to provide information to the general public in a non-biased, factually accurate, truthful way because too often the media skews facts. The better the journalist, the better society has at grasping the facts to better understand an issue or concern.

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