Lessons from a journalist

Tony Messenger spoke to a “News Media Ethics and Social Responsibilities” class at the University of Missouri today, and said that a good journalist must do three things:

1) Be courageous. A journalist be willing to confront those in positions of power, even if doing so could be an intimidating experience, as might especially be the case for a younger journalist.

2) Be persistent. Stay on the story until you have the full story, even if the facts are not immediately forthcoming, or certain people try to get in your way.

3) Get it right. Knowing and reporting the facts serves not only the public but also gives you credibility with sources and subjects. Whenever possible, rely on documents to prove your case.

Good lessons from a veteran Missouri reporter.



Filed under General & Miscellaneous

2 responses to “Lessons from a journalist

  1. What about trying at all times to keep one’s own personal and political biases out of news coverage (unless, of course, it’s editorial commentary or news analysis clearly labeled as such)? I don’t know how he omits that from his list. We were sure taught that at the MU J-School.

  2. Anonymous

    Margaret Moth, veteran photojournalist, died today – she exemplified these traits, I think. Apparently while covering the war in Sarajevo she was shot in the face, survived, then went back into the field to continue reporting for the rest of her short life.


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