Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Free or Not? Seek the Truth and Report it.

Samantha Schilder

How much does it cost? From being paid to cover a story up or to be paid to cover a story. How much are you willing to do to stand out in the world of journalism? In the industry journalists are approached more than we acknowledge when promoting and or writing specific stories.

This USA TODAY article discusses the Bush administration and the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) campaign. The Bush administration paid commentator Armstrong Williams to regularly comment on NCLB during the course of his broadcasts. Williams claims that he was only promoting something he believes in. Although we as the reader see dollar signs, he is stuck in a situation of his career and his viewpoints as a journalist.

In any situation that involves money and contracts you have to take it case by case. One thing brought to my attention in this case is the form of propaganda, a topic yet to be discussed in our course.  This specific situation with the Bush administration has a rather big story featuring propaganda because the government is promoting or publicizing NCLB. Being a topic of the government and a campaign you have to wonder how many times this has happened and how do you stop it.

While researching the Obama administration and their relationship with the government I came across this article, discussing CNN and the Obama administration. Two huge public figures, award winning Emmy journalist Amber Lyon and Obama administration counteract each other with controversy over news media. According to Amber Lyon, a three-time Emmy award winning journalist, CNN is routinely paid by the U.S. government and foreign governments to selectively report on certain events. Furthermore, she claims, the Obama administration pay CNN for editorial control over some of their content (


As I prepare to be a journalist, I ask myself how far I would go to hope to be the three time award winning Emmy journalist like Amber Lyon. Is it worth gaining the dollars to tell the story? You will never know what you would do until you are in that situation. From the story of Lyon risking her life in Bahrain and then the story doesn't even get published, or getting paid to cover the No Child Left Behind campaign and get the backlash of being a part of propaganda. Regardless of the story you are reporting, the story behind the story can be the biggest story.

One of the toughest things about being a journalist is being able to write a story without your own personal opinion impacting it. With our culture progressing and social media becoming the new way of communication, paying people to tweet or promote your company is the new job of the 21st Century. Together we make up the new and noteworthy journalist of the future.With this being said as a reader it is important to respect the situation of the journalist, be aware of the background story and overall respect the fact that a journalist number one job is to seek the truth and report it.

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