When I first entered the news business as a print reporter one of the most important things impressed upon my young mind was ‘be objective, professional, and accurate.’ I carried that legacy with me to TV news and always felt an obligation to uphold its standards. I was not perfect, but I had a baseline. That was nearly 30 years ago and since then my attitude toward journalism as a public trust has never wavered. Unfortunately I am seeing more and more that the young people stepping behind the microphones of today’s news organizations have not been trained in the traditional mores of the 4th estate, leaving me to wonder if the future of journalism is being foreshadowed in the amateur and immature behavior I see on the screen and hear on the radio.
One of my biggest pet peeves is all the jumping to conclusions they do nowadays. Someone has got to keep their heads when all around are losing theirs; that is the journalist’s job. And the voices! Do students of the craft not learn how to speak like adults? We had to take voice lessons to ensure we sounded authoritative. These days the news often sounds like a 10th grader is reporting it.
I recall being on a panel discussing the business in front of some college students and guess what? They wanted to be on TV but didn’t want to write anything. Whoever heard of a journalist who doesn’t write?
OK I’m off my soapbox…But if I hear one more Valley Girl-esque term in a newscaster’s sentence, I’m gonna lose it!