A skewed media – when journalists cover tragedies

media revolution
Is a revolution the only way to solve the credibility issue? CREDIT: Illustration by Alexa Ard

By Alexa Ard, @Alexa_Ard

Journalists have the power to paint the scene and its audience’s perspective on issues as well as the series of events of what really happened. Today, there are so many forms of media and news outlets where people can get information. Journalism is a 24/7, nonstop business, and in the reporters’ constant rush to pump out information, mistakes become inevitable. Other times, the mistakes are used to build a more sensationalized story.

Interim KUNR News Director Michelle Bliss experienced the Virginia Tech massacre in 2007 firsthand when she was a student there.

In the video below, she shares how the tragedy shaped her career in journalism as well as the glaring and often unethical mistakes she witnessed in the coverage of the massacre.

As an aspiring journalist, I want to know what is it that causes journalists to make mistakes or sensationalize stories – things that makes journalists lose credibility. Due to the complexity of this topic, my podcast below has been split into three parts:  the problem, the why, and how we can improve.

a skewed media
This photo illustration demonstrates how journalists are able to shape the perspective of the audience with how they choose to report the news, especially when an issue has become the news outlets’ primary focus. That is until the next controversy happens. CREDIT: Illustration by Alexa Ard

Do you trust journalists? For those of you aspiring to become journalists, are you going to strive to build that trust with your audience, with no agenda or motive behind what you’re saying?

This is what I’m aiming for, and I hope we can all work to build that trust and credibility for journalists and news organizations.

There is no quick solution or easy answer, but I think asking the hard questions is a good place to start.

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