Online Journalism

A video conference with Dan Rather and Tucker Carlson

March 6th, 2011 · Comments Off on A video conference with Dan Rather and Tucker Carlson

Curiosity, determination and the ability to write is what makes a good journalist, according to Dan Rather.

“Curiosity is the bedrock of being a good reporter. Determination is very important because one has to stay with it and writing well and quickly is the bedrock of the craft,” says Rather, a American journalist and managing editor of his show Dan Rather Reports on the cable channel HDNet.

Rather, who was also a former anchor for the CBS Evening News, joined students participating from the George Mason University Video Studio,  along with Steve Scully, the political editor for the C-SPAN networks; and students from the University of Denver and Pace University.

Along with Rather, Tucker Carlson joined the session midway and spoke regarding the pros and cons of being a journalist in the online medium.

“What is wrong with online media? It’s young and it’s costly. It’s very expensive to send entourages to places all over the world and the money hasn’t yet shifted online,” says Carlson, an American political news correspondent and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller. “This is a transition period for the online medium.”

To Rather, online journalism represents a new wave of changing media, whether anyone wants it or not.

“Whether you like the Internet or not, it is already the dominant media. It is no good cursing the winds or the waves anymore,” Rather says. “In journalism, the old order is gone and the new one is not in place yet.”

However, Rather still wishes journalists would cover the iron core of true journalism.

“What is the iron core of journalism? Investigative journalism,” Rather says. “Even in the online medium, journalists need to expose corruption, make the calls, go door-to-door and find out what those in power don’t want the public to know. That is what true journalism is.”

George Mason University junior Stefanie Juvinel, who watched the program, has her own perspective regarding the discussion on online media.

“When it comes to online media, it is changing the world in a good way,” says Juvinel, a integrative studies major. “It has brought the news to the consumer so as consumers, we pick out what we want to know and think is important.”

The distance learning course, which is produced by C-SPAN, is a unique opportunity for students to interview guests via video conference. The course airs on C-SPAN3 on Fridays at 5 p.m. and also streams online.

Tags: Comm361 · online journalism · Student Blog Posts

Dan Rather and Tucker Carlson C-Span

March 1st, 2011 · Comments Off on Dan Rather and Tucker Carlson C-Span

In the GSFC Science Studio. Waleed Abdalati an...

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Dan Rather and Tucker Carlson spoke with George Mason students through video conference on Feb. 24, 2011 to speak about the state of journalism and where it’s headed.

Rather, who was the news anchor for the CBS Evening News from 1981 to 2005 and is now the anchor of Dan Rather Reports on HDNet and Carlson, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller and former co-host of Crossfire on CNN, joined students participating from the George Mason University Studio along with Steve Scully, the political editor for the C-SPAN networks, and students from the University of Denver, Purdue University and Georgetown University.

The distance learning course, which is produced by C-SPAN, is a unique opportunity for students to interview guests via video conference. The course airs on C-SPAN3 on Fridays at 5 p.m. and also streams online.

So according to Dan Rather, what makes a good reporter?

Curiosity and determination makes a good reporter,” Rather said. “Writing is a bedrock of the craft.” Even if you want to get into television or radio, you have to be a good writer to be a good reporter.

Rather has been working in news since 1950 and was there to report about John F. Kennedy’s assassination, one of the hardest events to work through. He reported what he saw from the Zapruder film directly from memory and was remarkably calm through the live telecast.

“As a professional you are hit with the same emotions everyone else has, but you have to seal out those emotions,” Rather said. Sealing out those emotions were what allowed Rather to report how JFK died in such a calm manner.

When Kennedy’s assassination occurred, the television was the national hearth according to Rather, replacing radio. After 9/11, the Internet was becoming the national hearth.

“Now here in 2011, we’re in the Internet age,” Rather said. “President Obama is our first Internet president.”

Rather has often spoken out about the lack of courage amongst journalists in today’s media to ask tough questions. Tucker Carlson weighed in along with rather about what journalism needs now.

“Basically what journalism needs is more guts and a sense of independence,” Rather said.

“The best journalism is tough and it pays no regard to authority and it doesn’t suck up to power,” Carlson said. “A central problem is the unwillingness to take on central authority.

“Journalism’s not complicated, it’s a matter of finding out what happened and reporting it to the people.”

Tags: Comm361 · online journalism · Student Blog Posts

C-SPAN: Dan Rather

March 1st, 2011 · Comments Off on C-SPAN: Dan Rather

Dan Rather, former news anchor for CBS Evening News, joined students participating in the George Mason University Video Studio on C-SPAN conference on Feb.  24. Rather talked about the changes and challenges journalism is facing. 

The distance learning course produced by C-SPAN gives students an opportunity to talk to guests via video conference.

Journalism is about passion, investigative work, and news gathering. No matter the platform.

“American journalism today needs a spine transplant,” Rather said.
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Tucker Carlson joined Rather in the conversation, giving his scoop about journalism. “Best journalism is tough,” Carlson said. Carlson and Rather agreed on the fact that journalism is about the facts: getting  them straight and simple to the audience. Here are some points discussed by Rather:
  • Rather on good journalism:

“Curiosity, determination, ability to do right. Ability to write well and critically,” Rather said.

  • Rather was the CBS anchor for years, and he was the person that gave Americans some bad news throughout the years.

 “You are hit by the same emotions. As a pro, you have to train to get yourself out of the story.”

  • When Kennedy died, he had the change had the chance to watch a video of JFK assassination, and describe it on television.  He had to put his own feeling aside in order to pass the right message. He repeated the expression zone out a couple of times when referring to reporting on television.
  • How did Rather get the opportunity to cover major events?

“I’m a reporter that got lucky.”

  • Lucky and good journalism. Rather wouldn’t be in the media for so long if he wasn’t good at what he does.
  • What is news for Rather?

“News is something  important that people need to know that somebody in power doesn’t want them to know.”

  • Rather emphasized the importance of investigative reporting. Journalists have to keep an eye on politicians. We need to understand that news matters!
  • He also touched on the point that politicians are learning how to control and manipulate the media.
  • We need to educate readers consumers in order to avoid that to happen.
  • Will CBS be around in 10 years?

” The dominant place for information is the internet.”

Old news models need to adapt to the new model and transformation in order to stay alive.

“President Obama is our first internet president,” Rather said.

During the conversation, the topic news gathering vs. news packaging came up. News packaging is becoming majority of it. Part of the new media evolution is to have journalists aggregating information, instead of creating content. Rather said there is still a demand for creating content, someone has to report the new stuff.

 

Tags: Comm361 · social media · Student Blog Posts