Thoughts: Shattered Glass

College has been a pretty eye-opening experience for me as a whole, however watching movies about journalism has to be my favorite way to see my possible future. With movies like Spotlight and Shattered Glass on the syllabus, how can Intro to Journalism not be an interesting class that lets me walk away knowing I have learned something?

Prior to watching “Shattered Glass” in class (my first viewing), we spent time taking notes on libel and what rights journalists had when accused of fabrication – but nothing prepared me for what I saw Stephen Glass do throughout the 1.5-hour movie.

The dynamics depicted in the newsroom of the New Republic surprisingly remind me of parents with a bunch of children. Michael Kelly was the favorite, the one who always took your side and gently taught you right from wrong. Michael had the loyalty of the newsroom and everyone knew it. Charles “Chuck” Lane is asked to take Michael’s place and the reporters see him as the bad guy, the one who does not speak casually and the one who has not built up rapport. The reporters are unable to take proper criticism from Chuck and look at him as nothing more than a bully who hates them for supporting Michael.

I also did not know that notes taken during an interview and during the researching process for a story had to be turned in for fact checking. Truthfully, I have not thought much about what happens after a story is turned into an editor. Coming from the college mindset, where I have spent a few years now just writing my story and turning it in to have one or maybe two people read over it before it runs in print or online, I never realized how extensive the prep work for a news story is.

Shattered Glass depicts the repercussions of fabrication in journalism with the reactions of other members of the news staff – from other writers to the fact checkers. One writers mistake can entirely ruin the reputation of a newstaff and can lead the entire public to belive that journalism as a whole is worth little.

 

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a short (and specific) biography of me

On a typical Thursday night, Christian Hornaday would not be found among the countless college students crammed in to small house or local bar. Rather than falling prey to the promise of endless parties and nights forgotten, she has found that her life is best lived without added substances, regardless of what popular culture may convey.

Fighting peer pressure in high school was much harder than it is as a junior in college, even though the activities most underage, high-school students were taking part in were illegal. People would either look at someone who was not partying all the time and call him or her a prude, or they would look at the person who was partying all the time and call him or her trash – neither side could win.

As she persevered in her fight against the party culture, Christian found comradery in the select few who openly chose the same life, making the four years of high school easier to bear.

It was not until college that she noticed people were no longer pressuring her to drink or smoke or have sex. Instead, everyone was too busy leading their own lives to care about what others were doing or choosing to not do.

With this realization, Christian again found friendship in her choices, however the relationships were not out of mutual shame. She found friendships with people who shared her joy of simple pleasures in life: a trip hiking, a night of watching movies, an evening of exploring campus, a time of studying together. Each activity was best when paired with excitement for life as it was, not with a need to forget what was happening.

Today, Christian believes her best quality is her ability to find excitement in the most trivial aspects of life because it keeps her feeling young and it saves her from being too caught up in the negative parts of life.

as we begin…

This is officially the third blog I have created in my short lifetime, and the second blog created specifically for a class.

College has done a wonderful job of challenging me to step outside of my comfortable little box and has specifically encouraged (maybe forced) me to research and write about topics that are more controversial than what I had focused on in my personal blog.

Prior to a reporting class I took while at Campbell, I avoided basically anything news-related, unless I was writing for my school newspaper. I was afraid of the independence of a blog, I was afraid to write about more than religious or personal growth.

Each week of this reporting class, I was challenged to share my top three news stories of the week, highlighting certain journalistic aspects in how they were written. At first, I stuck to the basics of what question I was expected to ask, however, as I progressed in to the semester, I looked both at the story and at the question I was expected to answer. My posts became longer and more interesting as I grew more comfortable with sharing my opinion online.

As I begin yet a new journey in to the digital age of journalism, I hope to find that I am continually challenged and continually growing in my voice as a writer and in the way I process through the world around me.