The Student News Site of McCallum High School
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Risa Darlington-Horta

Several times during his keynote session, NBC broadcast journalist Chuck Todd challenged young journalists not to cover the presidential election but rather to cover city council and school board meetings because local matters have a more immediate and profound impact on people’s lives.

Meet the student press

WASHINGTON D.C.—This evening at the Marriott at Wardman Park, 11 MacJournalism students joined thousands of scholastic journalists from all across the United States at a keynote interview from NBC journalist Chuck Todd. Todd opened his remarks by lamenting that 40 percent of the U.S. population doesn’t trust American journalists.

He spent much of his time on stage exploring why the lack of trust exists and what journalists can do to restore it. He said that baby boomers are more likely to distrust the media because they experienced the Kennedy assasination, Watergate and the Vietnam War, which gave them reasons to distrust American institutions. He also said that Americans trust journalists less because of the decreased role of community journalists covering local matters.

It’s super discouraging that roughly 40 percent of the [U.S.] population doesn’t trust the media, but we still have to do things to gain that trust.”

— Shield co-EIC Kristen Tibbetts

Several times during the session, he challenged young journalists not to cover the presidential election but rather to cover city council and school board meetings because local matters have a more immediate and profound impact on people’s lives.

The themes of Todd’s remarks tonight evoked Shield co-editor in chief Kristen Tibbetts’ recent op-ed story, “A Journalist’s Take on Fake News,” which appeared both online and in the most recent issue of The Shield.

“He mentioned a lot of things that I’d touched on,” Tibbetts said. “It’s super discouraging that roughly 40 percent of the [U.S.] population doesn’t trust the media, but we still have to do things to gain that trust.”

Todd was asked to name those things. He said that to rebuild trust, student journalists should practice data-driven journalism and explain more transparently how stories are reported and why anonymous sources requested anonymity. He also said that newsrooms should reflect all the types of diversity in America: ethnic, socioeconomic, age, gender and geographic, and that the best thing a journalist can do is to make the news more clear and accessible.

The speech kicked off the 2019 JEA/NSPA Fall National High School Journalism Conference, which continues through Sunday.

Photos by Risa Darlington-Horta, Gabby Sherwood and Dave Winter.

#nhsjc #nhsjc2019

 

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