Studying to be a journalist in this day and age is not the easiest thing in the world to do. With our current president claiming some top news networks as “fake news,” anyone can be a little fearful for the future of this industry. Journalists are supposed to be the story tellers, the watchdogs, the informers. We are supposed to report just the facts, being objective and fair on on whatever story we report. Granted, there are opinion columns and opinion segments…. but they are clearly marked as opinion pieces.
What I do not find acceptable is when journalists put a spin on a story, making it feel less professional or as if they are taking a side. So, being a transparent journalist myself (I am letting you now that I am about to express my opinion), I would like to discuss a news segment Fox News did on a high school walk out in Manhattan. It was a part of the side show, Watters’ World, hosted by Jesse Watters. This walkout was demonstrated in protest to the recent travel ban of predominantly Muslim countries. Fox News covered the walkout, but not in a way that I found acceptable journalistically. Now, I am used to Fox News shenanigans. However, this segment made me feel like I was watching a goofy sitcom, or an epic fail video, not a highly rated news show.
Granted, the majority of the students interviewed were not fully educated on the issue of the travel ban, and could just have well been there to skip school. However, it is a journalist’s job to thoroughly represent both sides, and that is not what happened here. It felt as if Fox News walked in there with a decision about the walkout already made up in their mind.
What They Should Have Done:
- Reported exactly what happened
- Let the videography and editing be as simple as possible
- Interviewed students with varying opinions and varying knowledge on the issue
- Remained professional, keeping their opinion out of it
What They Actually Did:
- Reported what happened in a comical way
- Edited graphics and animations that were gameshow-like
- Made the students as a whole look like idiots
- Took a side
Curious to see if I am being too sensitive or not? Check out the video here! As a journalist, I am saddened to see this type of work representing what journalists do. I just believe that there could have been a more tasteful method of covering this story. But hey, I guess Fox News is known for this kind of reporting. I just hope the new generation of journalists can bring back the integrity our career deserves.