Reforming the Journalism Curriculum; accommodate the millennial as media cultures struggle to cope with the political rise of brazen liars like U.S. President Donald Trump and his ‘swampies.’ It’s long past time to wake up to the existential threat facing the media in times such as these. It’s time to ask the tough questions of our politicians – and the tough questions of ourselves.
bY CRIMSON TAZVINZWA//I cannot help but breathe a sigh of relief, realizing that journalism is ever expanding; and has taken new-media for adoption, literally; that is being inclusive as well as pervasive for in today’s world of messaging and communications; that is needed. That is, by the way, providing an alternative platform for fact checking for we cannot let people like U.S. President Donald Trump twist and snap at truth willy-nilly. We need pacifiers for these sorts of misdirection and distractions are dangerous and poisonous.
Look! Back at today’s White House for instance, CNN’s White House reporter Kaitlan Collins found herself on the receiving end of President Trump’s ire recently. She got barred from a press event for having the temerity to ask a question at all. As the reporter for the collective White House media, known as the “pool”, she lobbed a question at Donald Trump and the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker, just like hundreds of reporters before her.
The officials managing communications for Trump’s White House deemed the questions “inappropriate” and excluded her from a Rose Garden statement the same day.
As per normal The White House press corps reacted with unusual unanimity, issuing multiple statements of support and solidarity for Collins, who was, after all, representing them all. But such statements mean nothing without action, and there are some simple ways all news organizations can and should respond.
In yet another instance; quite recently, President fired off tweets against New York Times, NBC, ABC, CBS and CNN, deletes comment calling outlets ‘SICK!’
Trump ratcheted up his attacks on the media that day, describing the press as “the enemy of the American people!” in a tweet.
Shortly after landing at his holiday home in Mar-a-Lago, Florida — where he is spending a third consecutive weekend — the president lashed out in 140 characters.
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” Trump wrote.
Trump had tweeted an earlier post which targeted the New York Times, CNN, NBC “and many more” media — and ended with the exclamation “SICK!”
But he swiftly deleted that missive before reposting the definitive version — adding two more “enemies” to his blacklist.
Many US presidents have criticized the press, but Trump’s language has more closely echoed criticism leveled by authoritarian leaders around the world.
Trump, who regularly accuses the media of overstating his setbacks, also has accused journalists of failing to show sufficient respect for his accomplishments — including in their coverage of a rambling press conference on Thursday in which he voiced a litany of grievances against their industry.
In light of all this and many more social media curriculum needs a thorough review in line with the demands and challenges of the 21st century. But again I keep on wondering to myself what change and how? It appears to me that the advent of new technologies and new media call for the redefinition of journalism as a profession against what we know from Journalism 101 – Introduction to Journalism.’
Why do I say this? I have observed that anyone who has access to a mobile phone and computer can assume the roles of cameraman, journalist and/or producer, publish or director. Take for example the revolutions in North Africa six years ago: Tunisia, Egypt and Libya…and the on-going crisis in Syria; most of the news stories seem to be coming through from ordinary people who happen to be at the centre of events either as victims or onlookers.
These are people who never saw a door to a journalism class and yet seem to be ahead of the game in terms of knowing what news is, where it is and how to get to it and share; often for no fee at all. Even the mainstream media have started recognising them as credible sources. So I guess instead of ‘explosives’ though, maybe ‘scalpels’ for now, just enough to shade off some bits while creating room enough for embedding and integrating new technologies into the modern day journalism curriculum.
Media students or anybody aspiring to become a respectable and professional journalist needs to understand a three-pronged rhetoric of language, sound and image. They also need to understand how the tools (especially social media) change (1) what the audience sees as news and (2) how they go about reporting, itself.
In the end one should not believe anything coming from the mouth of any politician let alone Donald Trump without fact checking it. “Even if your mother says she loves you, check it out”.