It is not news that journalists have been burned for their “conformity.” You can bet journalists know that having a diverse newsroom improves the quality of stories.
However, we forget how much these minority groups lose in the second they make a press pass.
“Millisecond. Sonmez had ‘taken sides on the issue’ of sexual assault …”
Sexual assault is a crime. If you cannot “stand” against him, you are not in the business of comforting the afflicted and afflicting the powerful. https://t.co/8vZUNG8y3d
– Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) July 24, 2021
It’s easy to say that newsrooms like the publication have navigated rough waters. Sexual assault scandals in the media are in the past, present and probable future. Newsrooms pay poorly across the board and journalists are overworked, according to this statistic.
The new faces of the media are even more malleable. The industry teaches you to be willing to do anything. (I still joke that journalism asks for an arm and a leg quite literally some days.) Obviously, the phrase “willing to do anything” is insufficient.
If you are an aspiring cover writer or live reporter, this gets worse. You work for free sometimes, or next to nothing in your news childhood. In your most prestigious and prized jobs, you may still be waiting tables.
So journalists do what they do best.
Newsrooms aim to diversify their “unbiased” spaces. We often advocate for our affinity groups in the room. In fact, these impulses range from the most trusted names to the least trusted in the news.
“More women in the air, people of color and people who identify with queers.”
These journalists know that storytelling requires connection and collaboration. Having a shared identity brings context and understanding to complicated stories. From police shootings to sexual assaults, the voices that share the news become as important as the real story.
But these promotional moments can extend outside of the office. Reporters can leave their spaces and work to make their communities more representative. They can say that black lives do matter. They can say that Asian hatred is intolerable.
After a year of misinformation, they can denounce racism, sexism and heterosexism with the chest.
It could cost them their job and mark them as “activists.”
This is a journalistic foundation, but follow me down the yellow brick road. Journalism is always activism because the news seeks to improve its consumer. (A big thought coming in!)
When it produces news about police brutality, drugs and incarceration, sexual harassment in the media and any other story, it activates the consumers.
Journalists tell you, for example, what the traffic looks like on the road. That reporter isn’t giving you that information because he doesn’t care where you go. They want you to avoid the problem and improve your handling right now.
Incredible amounts of smoke throughout the United States.
It is another potential collateral product of #weather change.
A warmer world favors more evaporation / drying in the West. That leads to bigger fires / more extreme fire behavior.
That means more smoke / degraded air quality to the east. pic.twitter.com/EIriB4bCuc
– Matthew Cappucci (@MatthewCappucci) July 21, 2021
Meteorologists do the same. They track storms and weather chases to learn and help communities. However, unlike most traffic reports at 7 a.m., meteorologists can also advocate for climate caution.
His more contextualized news stories, in fact, speak of long-term environmental problems. Global warming and climate change are combined with your weekly weather forecast. But that’s “political”, right?
Well, let’s think about it a bit more.
Weather reporters and meteorologists can discuss climate change in their personal lives. These promotional pieces are rarely grounds for dismissal.
Telling you what the news is, contextualizing and informing the public is part of creating news. It is in our DNA.
The news we create, however we create it, is part of a bigger story. It’s the story of what our audience does next.
* reading this again just to make sure there isn’t a big warning that I missed because this seems out of my pocket * https://t.co/aYKiV9Z67T
– 🌱 Ivy Lyons 🦁 (@theIvyLyons) July 22, 2021
If our audience includes a harrowing story of death from a pandemic, take action. They may feel compelled to change their habits if they trust their news source. (This is why it’s so important for Tucker Carlson to be transparent about the pandemic in the air.)
Similarly, the visuals of promotion, acts of kindness, and volunteering in a newsroom make a statement. Advocating for the lives of blacks, women, or others is not indicative of a bad journalist.
Because journalism is always advocating, it wants you to get smarter, be active in your community, and have a positive impact.
It is that collection, production and exchange of critical information.
1 / Sonia Gutiérrez achieved her dream of becoming a reporter at her hometown news station KUSA 9News, but it came at a high cost.
If he wanted to cover immigration, he was told, he had to reveal his own immigration status on the air, in every story. https://t.co/6HIRsBetNP
– NPR (@NPR) July 18, 2021
First, news reporters put it all together in one package. No matter how small it is, they shape it, so your audience has an accurate and trustworthy account. That precision is not completely free of bias, but it does seek to avoid the appearance of incorrectness.
Second, the news is delivered. No matter the News Block, that news (hopefully) is verified and published or broadcast in an accessible way. The audience receives this news and begins to digest it.
Finally, the audience acts. Readers (including you who read this blog wherever you find it) begin to piece together. They memorize some information, discuss it as needed, and act on what they know to be true.
As reporters of any kind, we know this to be the case. Now, all we have to do is recognize that the adjective “promotion” can be another way of keeping the news segregated. Instead, I hope we see a progressive nature in the news. That journalism will embolden several brilliant voices to advance the media beyond hateful constructions.
I enjoyed being an exciting “Generator Z Themfluencer,” working in politics, writing as a journalism student, and discussing what matters most. I currently produce and host podcasts, contribute to hyper-local news outlets, and continue my education as a doctor. student at the University of Maryland.