Fake News Trumps Ethics

Illustration: Casper Jay Savoie

President Trump should not continue to blast the media about “fake news”.

As a student of journalism and everything that my coordinator, Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez, and Mike Rynearson have taught myself and the students of the Journalism program here at Mesa Community College, is about us as future journalists and media industry professionals, to be morally and ethically responsible.

Let me give you some background into the process we live by in the industry. Before even getting the approval to begin writing the stories, several hours of research and gathering sources to interview, then pitch the idea to the editor. If it is an idea that is not worth the time and money, then, time for you to do some more digging.

Once the go-ahead has been given for a story, doing the interview is the first part. Next is to listen to the recorded interview and log, word-for-word, what the person said during the interview. By asking the appropriate questions, you can almost essentially write your story according to the responses you’ve received.

After logging interviews and the story is written, editing for grammar, punctuation and authenticity. A reporter can get their piece handed back to them several times before the final copy approval for the printed edition’s release to the general public.

Looking at all the work that goes into a news piece, for the President of the United States of America to be bashing the media industry is reprehensible. It could take days, weeks or months to get the information needed to run stories. A reporter may have an idea about something going on, but until a source is located that is willing to talk with us about the truth, a journalist cannot ethically move forward until that point.

A journalist is also responsible to protect that person from harm by them being able to remain anonymous if they wish. But, we will have the documentation and recorded conversations with that person in order to back up what they have told the person or entity handling the story.

I was in my second semester in the journalism program and my first exposure to news production. I wrote a story at the time President Trump had first come into office and was attempting to secure our borders by issuing the travel ban from the seven middle-east nations.

I happen to work with a woman from one of those nations. At first she was going to let us use her name and photo in the story. But, the country she was from has some very strict rules about not speaking out against the government. She became worried that if she were to return home to visit her parents and family that she would get off the plane and taken into custody.

So, as responsible media professionals, we only used her first name in order to give her some anonymity. If you haven’t heard of “Deepthroat”, look it up.

President Trump you need to stop bashing the media for doing their job and focus on doing yours. That does not include getting on Twitter to bash someone or the industry.

Bill DeBlasio, Mayor of New York City was his latest victim. “Bill DeBlasio, the high taxing Mayor of NYC, just stole my campaign slogan: PROMISES MADE PROMISES KEPT! That’s not at all nice. No imagination! @foxandfriends, Trump tweeted on his own Twitter @realDonaldTrump at 7:15 a.m., August 21.

Trump targeted the New Yorker three hours earlier. “Fake News, of which there is soooo much (this time the very tired New Yorker) falsely reported that I was going to take the extraordinary step of denying Intelligence Briefings to President Obama. Never discussed or thought of!” tweeted @realDonaldTrump at 4:10 a.m., August 21.

President Trump you need to focus on the issues that directly affect the United States and leave the media relations to your Press Secretary, which you have had quite a few of in under half of your term. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is the current press secretary in charge of handling the media and their questions, let her do her job.

I am proud to speak up in defense of my profession about the time and effort we put into informing the general public about the truth and would not hesitate to do it again if the opportunity arises.

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