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.”