A Panel Debate Defines the Change in Journalism

Story by Sarah Vaughn

Members of the panel at the Hinckley Institute Forum shared the stage in the Hinckley Caucus room at the University of Utah; discussing the issues of journalism and political reporting in the 21st century on Friday. Members of the panel were Matt Canham, a member of the Salt Lake Tribune’s Washington Bureau, where he has covered congress; Bush and Obama administration.  Also present was John Daley, a reporter for the Deseret News and KSL and a former social studies teacher. The final member of the panel was Susan Tolchin, a professor in the school of Public Policy at  George Mason University.
The panel discussed the state of political reporting and how it has significantly changed over the years.  Social media is the new concept that is being used as main source of communication, which has put damper on print media.
“ Traditional roles in new media has changed and has impacted journalism,” said Matt Canham.  He furthered discussed the lack of boundaries that is evident, between the media and personal lives of citizens. Tolchin sees political reporting in this era in a different light,
“ The state of political reporting is great,” said Tolchin. However, she discussed later on that the media reveals the horrible things of the government and some reporters are not checking the facts anymore.
“Loved the pointers they gave and made me want to read more print media. The panel motivated me in the selection in what I read and to be more informed about the government,” said Ashtin Miller, a political science student. The panel encouraged the audience to read more print media and get involved with the issues of journalism and politics.
People today rely more on social media to receive information and to express their thoughts on issues through sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. Kylee Mecham, a senior at the University of Utah said, “I want to read more newspapers and be more informed. I rely too much on social media and especially Facebook.”

John Daley spoke on the worst of times and the best of times of journalism. Daley explained to the audience that there are fewer people in the newsroom, fewer people to report on issues, and go deeper into stories. However, the best of journalism now is more resources are available to get information and we can get information out faster to the audience. “I found Daley’s points on the times of journalism interesting and I didn’t know that print media was struggling in that way,” said Laura Qualey, a University of Utah student.

The panel left the audience pondering about the revolution of print media and the impact that social media is currently having on society. An society should not abandon the old for the new because both can co-exist.

The Hinckley Institute was established in 1956 through the Noble foundation and Robert H. Hinckley. It serves as a teaching for students for practical politics and to engage university students in the political process.