J2150U Blog #9-ONA Coding and Candidates Presentation Recap

I would like to start out this post with a disclaimer: I’m not a very political savy journalist… at all. I should probably keep my eyes and ears open more especially since I am a journalist. I realize this now. I am going to make an effort to be better in tune with news and politics. It probably would have made it easier  for me to interact with the speakers.

The presentation began with asking the audience (students) questions about our morals and what we would do in different scenarios. After thinking about the answers to some of their questions that I would give and what I would or wouldn’t consider worthy of publishing; I found that I have fairly high moral standards when it comes to politics.

The speakers stated political journalism has taken off because it has the ability to copy and share information so fast because the digital age has sped up journalism. With this being the case, it is more common now for ethical standards to drop. I have determined that in order to decide if something should be published or not, it completely depends on how the information has been manipulated. I believe that context should always be provided and something shouldn’t be published if there isn’t enough of it for a reader to understand why it is relevant.

One of the speakers said that their company did link a video to their blog about a politician who had been drinking a margarita and had said something that could have been construed as inappropriate but wasn’t necessarily meant to be. The speaker said that some of the people on his team approved of publishing it to their company blog while others thought it was embarrassing and disgraceful. Personally, I wouldn’t have published it. There weren’t other situations in which the politician expressed heavy drinking and the politician’s background wasn’t relevant to the scenario. 

Next, students in the audience began to have a heated discussion about where their morals stand. I believe my views in this situation are similar to another student, Alex’s. He brought up how journalism only goes so far and that it is crucial for different organizations to work together when information is unclear. I believe that some publications have become so obsessed with being the first to publish a story and no longer wait until they have all the facts. Alex pointed out that although it is impressive to present a story first, retractions are not only embarrassing but time consuming and expensive. 

Next a speaker, Al Shaw showed us apps he’s been working on for the past 4 months. It was very interesting to learn more about APIs. He showed us a very interesting chart titled, “Who are the Super PACs’ Biggest Donors?” It was very informative and made it easier for any audience (especially one who may not follow politics like me) to comprehend. He also showed us a chart about how much money each state is spending for which party. His company, Pro-Publica does a lot of partnering with local newsrooms to collaborate new ideas on how to present information in a unique way. 

I enjoyed this presentation because I was able to see a new perspective about political journalists. I also really thought Mr. Shaw did an excellent job presenting his work and answering questions. 


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