As a journalist in the 21st century one of the most important professional characteristics to have is being aware of contemporary media issues, and current events occurring on a daily basis. During my time as a reporter for the Cigar and a full time student at the University of Rhode Island studying journalism, it is necessary for me to remain up to date with important news at URI and nationally. For each assignment that I have worked on in my courses and the Cigar, I am well aware and understanding of the subject or topic before conducting extra research to ensure a well rounded report.
Each day I explore the internet to gather all significant knowledge of events being reported, from various reliable sources. Knowing the difference between a reliable source of journalism from an unreliable one is critical in the United States media of today. The first places I direct my attention to when looking for transparent, objective, news reporting nationally are: the Associated Press, BBC, the New York Times, Reuters, the Economist and the Wall Street Journal (in order of where I search first to last). When looking for statewide or local news I refer to the most prominent news publication in each specific area. For example I look to NJ.com for local news in my native area of Essex County, NJ. During my reporting for the sports section of the Cigar there were times where I found story ideas from other sources that cover URI sports, like the Providence Journal and the URI athletics website GoRhody.com. Following a mix of national and local media outlets allows me to formulate different story ideas, and remain up to date with newsworthy information.
Although social media can be a beneficial resource to receive breaking news from respected journalists I do not currently have a twitter. I am willing to get back on twitter if necessary to build credibility as a journalist. But an issue with some reporting of today on social media, is journalists rushing to be first to break a story instead of focusing on having a fully concrete and factual report. Most of the time no one remembers who the first to report a story, but instead remember the journalist that gets it right. Obviously being able to be the first to report a story and get it right is ideal. Twitter increases the likelihood of reporters sending out a tweet the second information is received, without always having it verified. I am open to starting a twitter account in the future for my employer as I do see the importance of gaining a following and having a social media presence. There is a fine line that needs to be followed when being a professional journalist using social media like twitter to make reports.
I have included three different links below expressing my ability to be conversant with contemporary media issues. The first link is from a live tweeting assignment that I did for a social media in journalism course my sophomore year. I attended the URI Christiane Amanpour lecture and live tweeted the main points that the guest speaker H.D.S Greenway made. Greenway is the author of Foreign Correspondent, and has over 50 years of foreign and war coverage. This assignment shows my ability to use social media to report news, and transcribe quotes that have importance to those interested in the event.
The second link I attached is a book review from a journalism ethics course I completed in the spring of 2017. The book I reviewed is titled The Vanishing Newspaper: Saving Journalism in the Information Age, by Philip Meyer. In my review I explain my understanding of the weakening of print journalism in newspapers due to many factors, especially the growth of technology.
The last piece of evidence expressing my ability to be conversant with contemporary media issues, is a research paper written for a history of journalism course my junior year. The topic I researched was the history of sports print journalism. In the paper I show my understanding of issues that print sports journalists faced early on, and the contemporary issues that print sports journalists face today.