To Monitor the Monitors

Story by Alex Goff

On Friday, Oct. 28th, a group of people gathered to hear opinions on how the media are considered the watch dogs for the government and the people the watch dogs for the media.

The panelists who spoke on the subject included John Daley, a reporter from KSL-TV.  He said that, “citizen involvement is plus because we do it for the readers.”  Daley was referring to the relationship between the media and the public, specifically how he thinks it’s the communities’ responsibility to inform themselves of what’s happening in the nation.

In regards to the panelists’ talk, Katie Christiensen said, “I liked how Susan said that we are the watch dogs of the media and it’s our job to get any vital information because it’s our responsibility as journalists.”

“Who watches the media?”  This was quoted from another member of the panel, Susan Tolchin.  It seemed that she was mostly focused on getting to the truth behind the messages that is received from the media. “Nobody is checking the facts, anyone can write an opinion,” she said.

Journalism student, Amy Murakami said that she barely checks her sources for accuracy, “it just never occurs to me that they could be creating a story from false accounts or facts.  I guess since it’s publicized I thought I could trust the source.””

The overall message conveyed by the panel was that the community needs to be responsible for the media, and it’s also their job to keep themselves informed about the now.  Consumers rely on the media just as much as the media rely on consumers.  It’s a balanced relationship and a win-win one as well.  The people need an informant and the informant needs people to pay for their message.

Another message, expressed mostly by panelist Matt Canham, was to challenge the media and make them accountable for what they write.  “As a consumer it is your responsibility to point out errors because they become incorrect facts,” he said.

The general consensus that appeared to be reached by the panel about the media was that they have a positive effect on the nation.  It was implied that there would be no other way of knowing what was going on in the world without help from journalists or reporters.

Whitney Smith, a political science major, stated, “as a political science student, this event was great insight as to how the media helps the government.  Sometimes the media can fall short and give information that may not seem as important, but I become more aware of our government issues because of our media and their ability to report.”

It’s clear that the population depends on news, whether it be from the newspaper or television.  However, the important part is that the facts get straightened out and the public holds the media accountable for what is being reported.  It’s the community’s obligation to know the truth about what’s going on, not just some reporters or journalists account of what’s happening but to see it from more than one angle.

“It is important to read the other sides views, which is a great way to keep from bias,” Tolchin said.

The group of people who gathered to hear these panelists speak have left with a greater understanding of what it means to monitor the media and how to challenge what they report as facts.

The Politics of Journalism

Story by Kaitlyn Christensen
When a new issue in the world arises, many use the media as a resource to understand what is going on. The media are how information gets circulated to people around the world.
On Oct. 28, a panel discussion was held at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the campus of the University of Utah about political reporting. This event was open to the public and gave the audience the opportunity to get insight from a panel with experience in government and journalism.
The three panelists included John Daley, a reporter for KSL; Susan Tolchin, a professor at George Mason University; and Matt Canham, a reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune. Each of the panelists was able to give his or her knowledge and input as to how the media is a valuable resource to its consumers.
“The media is the watch dog of the world,” Tolchin gave her thought as to why the media is needed. It is the media’s job to get any vital any information to the consumers.
“Citizen involvement is a plus, because we do it for the readers,” explained Daley as to why the consumers are the most valuable part of media.
“Readers have ways to point out mistakes, as a consumer it is their responsibility to point out errors because it becomes incorrect facts,” Canham explained how that he loves the feedback from his audience about his work.
“Who watches the media?” Tulchin questioned the credibility of the media, “Nobody is checking the facts. Anyone can write an opinion.”
When consumers of the media point out any mistakes made, it helps from continually putting out false information to the public.
The seminar gave great insight as to how helpful the media are and how they help the country. Those who attended the seminar found all information given very useful and interesting.
“As a political science student, this event was a great incite as to how the media helps the government. Sometimes the media can fall short and give information that may not seem as important, but I become more aware of our governments issues because of our media and their ability to report,” said Whitney Smith, a political science major at the University of Utah.
Katie Andrus, a journalism student at the University of Utah, gave her insight as to what she thought about the seminar.
“I like how they came from different backgrounds and had different perspectives on how journalism and the government work with each other to relay the information to US citizens,” she said.
Without the media, getting vital information circulated to the public would be completely impossible. The world of journalism has evolved so much over time. One can find information in more sources than just the newspaper.
”News journalism is very exciting; I hope media corrects our government,” said Daley about the evolution of the media and journalism in the world.
The media will continually remain to be a vital resource as the world progresses.

The New Watchdog of Journalsim

Story by Kylee Mecham

The state of journalism is changing as of late.  More people are now turning to search engines, Facebook and even Twitter to gather information and news.  Therefore, many are concerned about who is watching over the media.
Matt Canham, Susan Tolchin and John Daley came together at the University of Utah on Oct. 28 to discuss how journalism has changed and who is watching over it.  Today, reporters are under a lot of pressure to get the stories of the moment out as soon as possible.  However, there is no specific group checking the media and all of the news going out to the public.
Daley, a reporter for Deseret News and KSL, pointed out that “the audience is now the fact checker.”  The media consumer has a responsibility to tell the reporter and news outlets of any errors.  According to Daley, they need all the help they can get.
Tolchin, author of “The Angry American – How Voter Rage is Changing to Nation,” discussed that the media are the best watchdog over government by keeping politicians honest.  Therefore it is the citizens who need to watch over the media and make sure that the reporters stay honest.
However with all of this citizen involvement, citizen journalism has become more popular over the past few years.  Many more people are blogging about the news and putting it out there for others to read.  Therefore it is even more important for the public to be aware of where the news is coming from and any errors that might appear.
Canham, a reporter at the Salt Lake Tribune, said, “It is important to think of the mind-set of the reporter, when searching for information.”  With all of the information that is out there, one should keep in mind what the reporter’s views on the subject are.
Several audience members took interest in what the panel had to say about the changes in journalism and citizen participation.  Megan Hulet, a junior at the university, said, “It was really interesting to hear their views on the subject, and it made me realize how self-reporting really is increasing.”
Sarah Vaughn, a sophomore at the university, said, “I want to do journalism and it’s interesting how much reporting is struggling with Facebook and Twitter.”