As fears of nuclear meltdown grew across the Asian Pacific Rim, Peninsula College student editors and staff watched broadcaster Amy Goodman of “Democracy Now!” report and analyze the threats from her New York City studio. Goodman interviewed nuclear and health experts from across the globe on the threats from the emerging crisis in northern Japan. She also reported on the labor unrest in Wisconsin.
Student journalists interviewed the syndicated columnist afterward about a range of topics.
“As Amy Goodman mentioned: ‘Mainstream media too often delivers the news in a dramatic way to appeal to the emotional side of people rather than delivering the news,’” wrote Kassandra Grimm, a Port Angeles resident and reporter with The Buccaneer, Peninsula College’s student publication.
Students and instructors from across Vermont, Pennsylvania and the Olympic Peninsula studied Goodman’s broadcast. The exercise was part of a Peninsula College directed studies course supported by the Webster Scholarship that focused on the national conference of College Media Advisers from March 12-15.
“Fair and balanced reporting is difficult to find in our society dominated by corporations with plenty of money to spend on assuring media serves their needs,” Grimm said. “We as student journalists are developing our journalistic habits and should be training ourselves with good habits, which adhere to neutral approaches to factual storytelling.”
The student journalists explored the broadcast studio of “Democracy Now!” and the Hearst Tower’s Esquire and Marie Claire magazines and joined student journalists from universities across the country in touring CNN, Rolling Stone and The New York Times. Local students included Josh Johnson-Holloway and Ryan Hueter of Sequim, Grimm and Jesse Major of Port Angeles, Jameson Hawn of Port Townsend and Nate Julander, now of California.
Boneita Smith, The Buccaneer’s business manager and instructional technician, also attended.
Details for the tours across the New York City media landscape are at nyc.collegemedia.org/schedule/media-tours/. See the “Democracy Now!” broadcast and student journalists at 47:58 minutes into the broadcast at: www.democracynow.org/shows/2011/3.
The College Media Advisers national conference kicked off with keynote speaker Judith Ehrlich, the documentary filmmaker of “The Most Dangerous Man in America, Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers,” which was nominated for an Oscar in 2010.
The final speaker at the conference was Helen Thomas, the former “dean of the White House press corps,” who recently resigned her position after a controversy involving comments she made on Middle East relations. It was Thomas’ first public appearance since her resignation.