Navigating disasters and tragedy as a journalist  

‘Empathy to the forefront’

By Christine Bartruff
University of South Carolina Honors College

A chemical smell. A haze in the air. Broken windows. Abandoned jugs of milk. Through the eyes of a reporter, this was the scene in Minneapolis following protests against police brutality sparked by the killing of George Floyd. 

Erin Ailworth, Midwest correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, spoke to students via Google Hangouts while she was on the ground in Minneapolis. Ailworth is well-versed in covering heavy subject matter. She’s been The Wall Street Journal’s go-to disaster reporter since 2017, reporting on hurricanes, wildfires and, most recently, protests. 

READ AILWORTH’S STORIES
IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

When interviewing people, especially those who are traumatized by the events she’s covering, Ailworth exercises empathy. Approach people gently, she said, without shoving a camera or notebook or recording device in their face. Start with introducing yourself, and then ask if they would be willing to talk with you. Continue reading “Navigating disasters and tragedy as a journalist  “

Hight reminds student journalists to take care of themselves

Sound advice from the Mega Workshop

By Bradley Wilson, CMR Managing Editor

When it came to the opening of the College Media Mega Workshop in Minneapolis, Joe Hight asked the 350 or so students what they all have in common.

Quickly, the students stated the obvious.

  • We tell stories
  • We all individually tell stories
  • We have deadlines
  • We’re nosey. We’re curious as well.
  • We’re skeptical.
  • We follow a set of ethical standards
  • We’re passionate. When you lose that passion that’s when u go into cynicism.
  • We’re here for the truth. People wonder what the truth is these days.
  • We’re tough. Only heard three or four of you say yeah.
  • We ask the tough questions.

Then Hight turned the talk into what he really wanted students to start thinking about.

He asked, “I’ve always learned how journalists are resilient. Is that a myth?”

Continue reading “Hight reminds student journalists to take care of themselves”

2017 more like ‘1984’ than 1984

Survey details collision in classrooms between literature and reality

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

Lynn Neary with National Public Radio said George Orwell’s 1949 novel, 1984, again topped the Amazon bestseller list and had become, in her words, something of a political barometer.

Neary reported, “A spokesman for Signet Classics, which currently publishes 1984, said sales have increased almost 10,000 percent since the inauguration and moved noticeably upwards on Sunday. That’s when Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway appeared on Meet The Press. When host Chuck Todd challenged the Trump administration’s assertions about the size of the Inauguration Day crowd, Conway responded with a phrase that caught everyone’s attention.”

“Alternative facts,” Conway said.

Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to the President, tells Chuck Todd that the Press Secretary used ‘alternative facts’ in his first statement to the Press Corps.

Washington Post reporter Karen Tumulty on CNN’s Reliable Sources said the phrase reminded her of phrases from Orwell’s classic: doublethink, ignorance is strength, war is peace, freedom is slavery. Continue reading “2017 more like ‘1984’ than 1984”