The Importance of Local Journalism in an Age of Declining Trust in Media

We always strives to present a menu of thought-provoking programs and experiential learning opportunities as an enhancement to those already offered by the media department. Our focus is on ethical content creation, understanding that the ability to achieve quality journalism depends on the integrity of each journalist presenting an engaging story that is fair and factual.

At these events, students can interact with professional journalists and storytellers in intimate settings. Undergraduate and graduate students also have the chance to win cash awards for original research in the topic of ethical journalism, while others may have the opportunity to assist faculty Fellows involved in their own research.

Upcoming Events

Industry-Essential Book to be Read & Discussed in Preparation for Author's Campus Visit

The Media Department's Media Ethics classes will host a joint reading of Bill Kovach & Tom Rosenstiel's The Elements of Journalism: What Newspeople Should Know and the Public Should Expect throughout the fall semester. The reading, sponsored by the Institute, will complement regular class activities and lessons examining media ethics.

Prof. Maggie Patterson and Dr. Pamela E. Walck will lead class discussions based on the readings in preparation for author Tom Rosenstiel's visit to campus on Nov. 10, 2022.

Past Events

Will local news ever be trustworthy again?

That's the question Kelly McBride posed to a group of print, broadcast and digital journalists at the Institute's first town hall event on Nov. 17, 2021. An ethics adviser to newsrooms around the world and National Public Radio's Public Editor, Kelly moderated a lively discussion with five panelists and fielded questions from the audience about the importance of what she called a natural, but delicate, journalism ecosystem.

"When it's mostly healthy, the stronger parts can compensate for the weaker areas. But disease and rot can spread," Kelly told an in-person crowd of more than 150 students, faculty, staff and members of the general public who gathered in the Power Center ballroom.

Kelly claimed that several events in the last two decades have had a compounding, cascading effect on journalism.

"We may have more information," she said. "But because of the way it is delivered to us, many of us struggle to know what's true, what's a distortion and what's completely made up."

Missed the event? Watch the video.

Ethical Dilemmas in Journalism and Storytelling: The Influence of Memory, Trauma and Time

Research, writing and reporting often include ethical dilemmas related to telling stories. What happens when source materials such as documents, diaries, photographs or oral histories conflict? How do trauma and time affect memories, interviewing techniques and the stories we tell?

Rachael Cerrotti confronted those questions while retracing her Jewish grandmother's travels across Europe during World War II, which led to a best-selling book, "We Share the Same Sky: A Memoir of Memory & Migration."

In an intimate gathering for media students March 31, Cerrotti said that, though it is important to report facts, it is also important to honor the person whose story is being told. She said that citing historical documents can allow the storyteller to compare and contrast details without impugning the subject or the source material.