Impartiality VS. Point-of-View

away-1991860_1920.jpgWhen you go looking for a news story to read or a news program to watch on television do you prefer to read or watch those types of organizations that are 100% impartial and only report the facts and nothing else?  Or do you enjoy catching some of those that share a little of their point-of-view on the story while also sharing all sides fairly?

The most recent MOOC I have begun studying is part of a specialization on CourseRA called Report the News! in conjunction with Michigan State University.

The course is titled What Is News? 

One of the recent lessons that I have been looking at talks about the difference between Impartiality and Point-Of-View journalism.

Most of us understand that impartiality in journalism is when a reporter writes or covers a story without sharing their own opinion.  Reporting the facts and giving all sides their fair share of coverage.

With point-of-view coverage it is a little bit different.  It is NOT an opinion piece.  What happens is the reporter makes known their position or stance on a particular subject and then reports on it.

For example I am believer in God.  I practice Christianity.  I can state that openly, but also report on other religions both fairly and accurately.

I also love books and to read.  Say a library is being shut down for one reason or another.  I could actively pursue that story and make sure that the story is told as to why it this library should stay.  I also should make sure though that I give fair reporting on those who are trying to have the library removed.  That sort of thing.

feedback-2044700_1920One thing that Tom Kent pointed out in a piece that I read was that you must be careful about how you share your point-of-view because we don’t as journalists want to look as if we have given an endorsement to a certain side.

In the lecture series Joe Grimm shared these five principles of POV journalism.

Five Principles of Point-Of-View Journalism – from Joe Grimm

  1. Declare your point of view
  2. Be accurate
  3. Stay fair
  4. Be accountable
  5. Credibility builds trust

The best part about this section of the course was that it challenged me to think about the type of journalist that I want to be.  As have some of the lectures since this one.  More to come on that subject.

Impartiality or Point-of-View?  Which do you prefer?

 

Help Me Make A Difference in Journalism

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In 2006 I began the next chapter after high school of going to college.

After four years of time there I left to pursue a dream of performing at Walt Disney World.

That dream came true and I have now been here for almost 6 years!

I sadly left college without having finished my degree.

About three years ago I decided that it was time to begin the process of finishing my degree and pursuing my other dream of a journalism career.

I LOVE people and one of my many passions in the journalism field is bring the truth to the world and performing a public service that has been manipulated so much in recent days that it is hard to recognize what the truth actually is.

I want to be apart of a movement to change that and bring back journalism with integrity.

I need your help.
School costs.
A lot sadly.

When I was in school in the past I took out more student loan money than I care to mention.  This is an option that no longer exists for me.

I actively am pursuing knowledge through free online content to better educate myself in the only way I know how by researching and reading.  Unfortunately not all resources that I would need to learn about are available in free content.

I want to be proud of my knowledge and proud of my profession.  In order to do that I need to be apart of what it takes to get there.

What is that you may ask?

A journalism degree program.

I have spent the last six years of my life doing my best to make magic and memories for the people I meet at Disney.

Now I am hoping for some magic of my own.

I need $2000 to get started.

That’s the cost of one class.  Fees and such included.

What in the grand scheme of things doesn’t sound like much money is so far out of reach for me.

So I humble myself and reach out.

In the past year I have worked to try and help my parents survive due to thier overwhelming circumstances that they deal with.
I want to be able to help them more.  My education can help me in that direction.

I appreciate any donation and hope that my gratefulness will shine above anythings words can express.

To contribute to my campaign please visit

https://www.gofundme.com/CalebGraham

Help me to help the world with this dream of mine.

Thank you!

Many blessings!

Caleb Graham

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Course Complete

I am excited to announce that I have completed my first MOOC on Udemy.

This course challenged me in many ways.

Hearing knowledge and learning lessons from a leading journalist is something that we journalism students dream of.

It encouraged me to continue pursuing this dream.  And also challenged me to constantly be searching for the truth in both my career and my daily life.

I am grateful that the time was taken to produce something like this for learners to absorb.

I call on other leaders in news to do more of this.  Share your stories and knowledge of the craft.

It is both useful and inspirational to those of us yearning to join the search for truth.

Here is my Certificate of Completion for Udemy’s Dan Rather on Journalism & Finding Truth in the News

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Journalism Today

“A free and independent press, truly independent, fiercely independent when necessary, is the red beating heart of freedom and democracy.” 

Recently I began taking an MOOC course on Udemy called Dan Rather on Journalism & Finding the Truth in the News.  I am a just over 70% finished so I thought I would start sharing about what I have learned.

a383f7f8-4a54-439e-96f2-241d9b584d47If anyone is interested in learning some of the most valuable information about the journalism craft from a leading journalist with a lot of experience I would highly consider checking this out.  The insight and knowledge that Rather gives throughout this video series is something that I would love to hear more of from some other top names in journalism.  Especially when it comes to television news.

In the beginning few videos Dan Rather sets the stage with filling the student in on what the landscape of journalism looks like in our present day.  Immediately we are encouraged to memorize the quote that I began this piece with.

Journalists are to be independent, knowledgeable and unbiased.  Go after the truth as best you can.  Even when it may not be within your comfort zone.  Rather highly emphasizes the independent part.  Specifically in regards to exposing the secrets of people in power.  Or maybe in other words holding them accountable.  This could be anyone from government to CEOs of large companies, to A-List celebrities.

We are also given early on Dan Rather’s definition of news as information or truths that need to be told.  Usually this news is something that those people of power don’t want getting out.  It is then the job of the reporter to find out those truths and share them as a public service.

Freedom of the press as outlined in the Bill of Rights is what makes a democratic society thrive and succeed.

In 2017 the media is in danger of losing not only its power but also its credibility.

Why?  I will use another direct quote from Dan Rather for that one.

“The main voice that’s challenging the continued ability of the news to speak truth to power is the public’s perception of just what news is and what it should be.”

The mainstream media in many cases has fallen into the trap of trying to always be politically correct.  They don’t want to offend anyone.  Rather uses the phrase, “go along to get along.”

digitaljournalismThe issue today is that there is a major decline in unbiased reporting and ethics.  We have different entities that express different points of view instead of straight facts.  Opinion shows are not news shows.  They are points of view based on the host’s opinion of something that a journalist reported on in the news.

What happens with these types of programs is that you are left with different versions of the truth based on opinion.  Then we are left with trying to figure out which is the actual truth.

Journalists are public servants.  We should be in search of truth no matter how we feel about it.  This is the news that people want to read.  They want to see the facts and then make decisions themselves.  Journalists don’t make of the minds of the people.  They do the best they can to provide accurate information so that people can use their own convictions to decide.

This is part of why I am studying and pursuing this career.  I’ve mentioned many times how much people mean to me.  My feeling is that it is my duty to be a journalist.  To get out there and tell people the truth about things they must know about.

Certainly I have my own opinions.  I have shared them in the past.  Now it is time to move away from that and begin a new chapter of truth.  Commit to a higher purpose and pursue what has been a dream for years.

I am excited for the journey and hope you will be right here following along with me.

UPDATE: My Journalism Journey Thus Far

I am a student of journalism.  I have been for some time now.  Do I want to be a journalist?

Absolutely!

Why?  Because I am truth seeker.  I have always been the one to ask questions.  Once in a job, I was told I ask TOO many questions.  I knew from that day on that I was meant to work in news.  It  has been quite some time since I came to that revelation.  In the meantime I have fulfilled some other dreams.  I am very grateful that I did too!

A couple of years ago I began taking classes again online in order to start my journey to becoming a professional journalist.  Due to some setbacks and mistakes on my part I have fallen behind.  Basically I owe a school money due to a detail I overlooked about financial aid.  So without too much detail I am sort of at a standstill.

While I am paying of the debt I owe to continue my education I have discovered MOOCs.

Now what in the world is an MOOC you may ask?  It stands for Mass Open Online Courses.

These are often free courses that you can take online, sometimes with a professor monitoring your progress.  But often you are doing a self-paced course.  In most instances the course itself is free and once you complete it, you can pay a small fee to receive a certificate from the institution that created the class showing that you completed it.  These certificate in turn can be added to your resume to show you are certified in this particular area.

I figured that since my hunger for a journalism education is so strong I could try out some of these and learn some things on my own so that I may apply them when I do begin working in the field.

Hopefully if all goes well, I will be back in a university continuing to learn more and gain experience by the end of the year.  Until then I am going to post some things that I am learning through these MOOCs and my thoughts on the path I have chosen!

Stay tuned!

 

My People Fund – DollyWood Foundation

I have been posting a lot about Gatlinburg and what has happened in Tennessee and across the South with wildfires.  For several reasons.  One and mainly because I love the south and I love these places.  Also because I want to keep it fresh on people’s minds since the media isn’t covering it as much as it should be in my opinion.

If you’re like me you often are always saying to yourself, “I wish I could help!” or “I wish there was something I could do!”

The great thing is, there IS something you can do!  If you can’t give your time and be there physically to help out you can donate money to help these people rebuild their lives!

One of my idols since my childhood when Mama and I would listen to her in the jeep and sing our hearts out is Dolly Parton.  Not only is she an amazing artist and talent, she is an amazing giver.  She gives back!  In so many ways.

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On the night of Nov. 28, 2016, terrible wildfires affected the Great Smoky Mountains around Gatlinburg, TN where I grew up.  The firefighters, first responders, the Red Cross and many other organizations have done an incredible job in their emergency response efforts.  Now as we look to the future, there are a lot families who will need our help rebuilding and restoring their lives and the beautiful land we all call home.  I’ve always believed that charity begins at home and that’s why I’ve asked my companies to help me establish a fund to assist the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Tennessee. (From the Dollywood Foundation Website).

Immediately after the events occurred in Tennessee, Dolly was right there setting up a special fund through her Dollywood Foundation called the “My People Fund.”  Those choosing to give to this fund have their donations directly sent to victims of this tragedy.  Dolly has pledged to give $1000 a month to these people until they can get back on their feet.  How amazing is that?!

Now if you’re like me and live paycheck to paycheck, you may think you can’t or shouldn’t do this.  The answer is you can.  Think about it this way.  Say you treat yourself once a week to something like a meal at your fav fast food place.  Or maybe you go down to the pub and have a drink.  Maybe you buy a new piece of clothing or an accessory for your technology.  Maybe even a drink at the snack machine, or a song on iTunes.

Whatever it may be, I challenge you to give that little luxury up this week and give that money to those who have lost everything in these wildfires.

For those who don’t have those little luxuries, I also understand your side.  You’re thinking you could use some donations yourself.  I hear you!  For you I ask for prayers.  I ask for good energy.  I ask for good thoughts.  Anything positive you can send to these people who so desperately need some little miracles.  In turn I will lift up prayers and positivity for you.

Dolly does this from her heart because she cares about people.  Especially those in her home state.  I can tell you that if I were in her position I would definitely make some much needed changes in Alabama.  I can only pray that I am one day in a position to do so.

If you feel led to give to the “My People Fund” head on over to the Dollywood Foundation My People Fund Website and give what you can.  No matter what you may think I can tell from experience that every little bit does count!

Let us create a “circle of love” around these people and let them know that we stand with them!

I leave you with this video of Dolly and Jennifer Nettles singing that song last week on “The Voice”

Happy Hump Day!

National Media & Gatlinburg

gatlinburg-fire-3I have to say I am frustrated and saddened by the lack of coverage in the national news about what has been going on in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.

Just because it doesn’t involve terrorism or politics it is STILL a devastating tragedy just like those things are. Thousands of people lost everything. People have lost their lives. What is going on with journalism these days?!

Lord PLEASE let me get my financial issues resolved soon so I can get back into school, get out there in the field of journalism, and make some needed changes!! 

I should say a thank you to HLN’s “Michaela” show for actually going deeper into the story than any others I’ve seen.

When I posted about this on Facebook I had a few comments from people about the issues with media covering some floods in Louisiana.  As well as fires in North Carolina and Georgia.

Seana said…

“I know exactly how you feel! We had the same issue in Louisiana with all the flooding. I’m praying for everyone in Gatlinburg and the surrounding areas.”

Rebekah R. said…

“It really is so sad. When California and Colorado were burning, national news cared.  

When southern states were devastated by flooding and now while our Smoky Mountains burn, it’s just mentioned in passing. 

Praying for everyone who has suffered loss and for the brave men and women who are fighting the fires and finding ways to help during this tragedy.”

A comment from Shannon W. read…

“It was pretty bad. I think they have it pretty well contained in North Carolina now. I have to actively search out the local news to find anything. My family is from the mountains but the fires were all still west of them. I know Blowing Rock and parts of Boone were evacuated before Thanksgiving. 
In Georgia people as far south as Atlanta were under some type of warning to stay inside as much as possible because of how thick the smoke from the fires in northern Georgia. My Nana lives there and said she could see it in the air.
I lived in East Tennessee when I was younger so I’m strongly connected to these three states. It’s so sad.”

The south has been under heavy drought conditions and dealing with wildfires for quite some time.  In my home state of Alabama there was no rain for almost three months until a few days ago.

I ask that the media stand up against their own bias and start talking more about these people who are losing there homes, businesses, and lives!

I pray the best for all of them.

If you are in a place to donate money to help all of those effected by the wildfires in Tennessee please go to www.dollywoodfoundation.org and donate what you can.

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Dolly Parton performing on her “Pure & Simple” Tour – Photo: Caleb Graham

Dolly Parton is planning to donate $1000 a month to every family effected until they can get back on their feet.

You can help her.

After being in Orlando when the Pulse attack happened, I know how much these donations mean to people involved.  They can go a lot further than you may think when people give.

Also go visit these places when they get back up and running.  Go visit Gatlinburg.  Go visit Dollywood.  They will need the support of tourists to get their business back so they can continue on.

Many blessings to all.