What it’s like being a journalist in a world of ‘fake news’…

If you’ve been paying attention, you’d know President Donald Trump has declared a war with the media.

Why, you may ask?

Because according to him, all the media prints are ‘alternative facts’ and ‘lies.’

Well, I for one, call bullshit.

I’m not saying that news outlets are perfect and never make mistakes, because we do–usually unintentionally–but, what he is implying is outright ludicrous, offensive and damaging to our credibility as journalists. And I especially take offense because I am a journalist. And I’ve worked damn hard, just like the rest of us, to become one.

Now I can’t sit here and claim I’ve never made an unintentional mistake or two here and there because that would be a lie. I’m only human, after all. And Despite Trump doing his best to make media the anti-Christ, there are people out there who, thankfully, still believe in us media. They rely on us to report the truth, inform them of current events and breaking news happening locally, nationally and internationally.

And to those people who support us, I thank you.

As for those who are on Trump’s side in regards to the war with media, I am astounded. I am astounded because so often I come across people on social media sharing and re-posting news articles that aren’t from a reputable or even real news site but, believe it’s real. They fail to do any work of their own to check the credibility of that site/publication and instead  just assume that actual, legitimate news organizations are just full of straight crap.

As a reporter, I strongly urge to anyone reading this to please, please, please in the future consider double-checking the news sources from where you’re getting stories and re-sharing from. Because not only do I take offense to this on a professional level, but it also makes me lose respect for your personally to see you didn’t care enough to even bother double-checking your source(s).

It truly is a shame that there are so many people who side with Trump when it comes to blasting and ragging on the media day in and day out. And I don’t simply say that just because I am a journalist. I would be pissed even if I wasn’t a journalist because I would still rely on them to report the news and keep me informed and educated. I would rely on them even if I wasn’t a journalist because I know that they actually went (or you know, should have) to school to earn their degree in it. And yes, a degree in my opinion separates the real journalists from the non-real journalists. But, that’s a completely different topic in itself.

Being a reporter in the present when Trump is president is tough. It’s not easy. And while the chances of Trump ever noticing and calling me out personally or the newspaper I work for on something we reported on are like 1 in 1 million, I still stand by my fellow reporters across the state, across the nation and across the globe. And I appreciate so much the news outlets who took a stand against Trump and Sean Spicer regarding their recent press conference by not attending it even if they were actually on the very exclusive, small list Trump created.

Being a reporter in the present when Trump is president is frustrating. Even though I work for a small paper, I (well, mostly the paper I work at or any newspaper/other news outlet in existence for that matter) still deal with and experience people’s nasty comments on news articles we write–saying we’re this and that because of what we report; or how dare we report on this; how dare we not report on that; etc. Of course, there is always going to be something, whether it’s Donald Trump or regular everyday people sitting behind their computer monitor, that people dislike about what my newspaper or other news outlets report on. And that sucks.

No profession goes unscathed by people who call out their flaws and rag on them now and then but, in Trump’s term as president right now, the media is definitely subject to more scrutiny and hatred a lot more openly and frequently.

So my point is, please consider formulating your own thoughts about the media before just blindly jumping on Trump’s (or any one who is anti-media) bandwagon. Perhaps through your own fact-checking you’ll see that maybe it’s not actually the media that has it wrong, but the viewer/reader of the news just happens to have a different perception of what is being reported.

It’s OK to have different perceptions, thoughts, opinions — all that. That is what is great about this country–our ability to have different perspectives. But, what’s not OK is simply bashing the media and/or other people/professions just because you don’t agree with them on every minute detail. The media can’t and shouldn’t be the enemy just because you or Donald Trump don’t agree with what is being reported. You can’t claim something is a ‘lie’ or an ‘alternative fact’ simply because you disagree.

Like I said, I for one stand with the media whether I am a part of it or not. Who knows, maybe one day in the far future I may no longer work in the media but you can be sure as hell I will still support them 100 percent. And trust them. They do have a degree in it after all. And, because I know well enough and understand that journalists are human, too, and make mistakes from time to time but that just because they do doesn’t mean they’re bad people, ignorant, stupid, or reporting ‘alternative facts.’ Sure, you can be a Trump supporter all you want but, for crying out loud, politics aside, even before this war was declared with the media by Trump, you should have been doing your damn research. And so if you haven’t, now is as good a time as any.

Just be informed, OK?

Again, even if I wasn’t a journalist, I would still be urging you to do the same–fact check. But I am even more strongly urging you to be informed because I am a journalist. Trust me, nothing makes anyone more annoyed (I can only assume), when people don’t bother to fact-check and make sure that the news they’re seeing,  re-sharing and believing is actually legitimate.

So please, do your part by verifying the news site’s legitimacy before hitting “share” on Facebook or “retweet” on Twitter. It’ll give a lot of people, but especially us reporters, less of a headache.

Until next time…

XO,

Anamaria

Dare to live the life you have dreamed for yourself…

I was in fifth grade when I officially declared I wanted to be a fashion designer.

fashionsketch

For our yearbook that year we had our own mini “bios” if you will, about what we wanted to be when we grew up, along with what our favorite activity, color was–or something along those lines. But, for what I wanted to be when I grew up–I had no hesitation of what to list.

 

I can’t recall the exact time that aspiration faded but, looking back now, I am happy I didn’t pursue that dream. Nothing against fashion designers–hell, I love fashion and give designers MAAAAAAJOR credit for all the hard work and effort they put in to making fabulous clothes, shoes and handbags. No, nothing against them at all. I just eventually realized I didn’t have the creativity, passion or even patience, to continue pursuing it.

After that dream fizzled out, my next and current dream was to write for a magazine. What magazine you may be wondering. Why, Cosmopolitan of course. I have loved that magazine for as long as I can remember. And again, I can’t pinpoint the exact moment I knew I wanted to be a writer/reporter/journalist in general, but, I would say it was definitely solidified in high school.

LUCY HALE in Cosmopolitan Magazine
LUCY HALE in Cosmopolitan Magazine, September 2012 Issue

I wrote for the school newspaper, Ramparts, and at one point served as the Opinion Editor. It was a blast. I loved writing for the newspaper then and continued that line of work in college, where I wrote for Central Michigan Life as well as Grand Central Magazine.

However, now that I’m graduated from college, going on almost two years, I can’t help but sometimes wonder when my dream of being a full-time writer/reporter/journalist will come true. I know I shouldn’t but, I find myself constantly comparing myself to others– especially those in the same field, and wonder, why isn’t that me yet?

It’s a struggle from time to time, more often than not, but, thankfully through this blog and my work at HOMTV, I know that when the timing is right (hopefully by this summer), I’ll have landed a full-time job in my field. It’s tough though–I’ll talk to people outside of the news industry and when I tell them my ultimate career goals, they give me this look–probably not meaning to make it look so obvious, but nonetheless it’s still there–like why on Earth would you want to be a journalist? The news industry (specifically print, which is my main and ultimate career goal) is dying, they say. As if I haven’t heard that before… Right?

Anyway… I wanted to be a fashion designer when I was younger and I don’t recall anyone trying to talk me out of that dream (now granted it was only fifth grade but still–if I said that now I would actually hope for someone to talk me out of that one, ha!) and so why now that I am an adult, and spent five years in college studying journalism, do people want to essentially tell me “good luck getting a job” with that degree? It’s not that person’s dream so why do he or she feel entitled to tell me my dream/degree sucks? I think some other people’s dreams suck/are stupid but, I don’t go around telling them that to their face. It’s none of my business, and if it makes them happy, then great!

My point is, my dreams I had for myself when I was younger are different than what they are today.

In fact, while at this very point in time I think I have my hopes, dreams and goals all figured out, the truth is, I really don’t. I think I do, but, only God knows what the future holds for me. What I want and what I actually end up doing could be totally different. Although, obviously, I hope my dreams come true. Not just for my professional career but in the personal aspects of my life as well.

For example, my dream is to be a reporter for a print publication. But, my internship position right now is a TV reporter. That doesn’t go to say I’ll only apply for print jobs when I’m finished with my internship–I’ll of course apply for all and any kind of journalism/news job–but, what’s most important to me is that I am happy with what I am doing. And yes, this internship is an awesome experience. I’m so thankful I was given the opportunity to do it. I have great bosses, co-workers; they want us interns to be successful and will answer any and all questions we have. And trust me, I have a lot of questions. LOL. I am learning so much that I can’t wait to apply to future jobs and show potential future employers my demo reel I’ll have made at the end of this semester.

But, if I’ll actually end up at a TV station once my internship is complete, I’m not sure. I tend to stress and worry too much about the future when I can’t control it–only the present–and it’s something I need to work on more. I would love to actually know and be people to share with the world that yes, this is what I will being doing come May, but, the truth is, I don’t know. I would love to say yes, I will be a reporter at X location, living in Y location, but, the future is unknown. And that’s both exciting and scary. More often scary than exciting but, still.

Right now I can only focus on continuing to better myself as a reporter and become more confident in my on-air ability and interviewing skills. After all, those are pretty darn important as a reporter.

So, instead of focusing so much on the future, I’m going to try my best to focus my mind on the present. And if anyone has any tips or advice on how to stay focused on the present and/ or improving my skills and abilities as a reporter, I would love to hear them. I am all ears.

Or, perhaps a suggestion for a hobby–other than blogging (*although, I really do want my blog to take off and be substantial enough to where people who follow and read it, are genuinely interested in what I have to say. So, please, bloggers/writers/etc., send me some topics to blog about; I would GREATLY appreciate it) and shopping (ha!), let me know.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

The best way to predict your future is to create it…

I got dolled up for NYE 2016 knowing already I was going to be one overdressed woman. But, as one of my older sisters said, you can never be too formal for NYE. So, I went with it and chose the dress that was not only comfortable but that I felt like a princess in. And I was very much treated like a princess that day as my other older sister was nice enough to curl my hair… Since whenever I try to do it, like today, it turns out nothing like it should. HA! Plus I had the sparkling jewelry, shoes and purse to match. 🙂

Anyway, so the plan was to meet up at a friend’s apartment beforehand and later head to Dublin in EL. Well, we thought we left at an appropriate time but it turns out we didn’t. The line wasn’t even that long but bouncer at the door told us they were at capacity.

My friends and I peered in the windows of the building and it seemed nowhere near capacity. We questioned whether we should bear the cold longer than we already had until we heard no new people would be let in until HALFTIME of the big game. After that we weighed our options and low-and-behold, ended up at Rick’s across the street.

Of course my natural reaction was horror, as I had been there ONCE before, and that in my opinion was enough. But, I wanted to stay with my friends and didn’t want to be too much of a negative Nancy so I went with it. And later in the night and the following day, I realized just how much fun I had. It wasn’t my top place to ring in the New Year 2016, but, in the end I was just happy with WHO I was with and NOT where I was at.

I am grateful to have rung in another year with my best friends. It’s funny, my brother, mom and I were having a conversation about something the other day and my brother asked, “You and your friends never fight?” It may seem weird but my response was, “No.” Sure, we may get on each other’s nerves at time but, we never full on ever argue or anything like that. To some that may not seem “normal” but, you know what, I’m perfectly content with not being normal.

NYE20161
Cassie, Me & Sarahann on NYE 2016

Our friendship started back (now this year) 13 years ago… And how we all have remained this close–to be honest, I am not sure–but damnit, I’m glad and grateful we did. We all went to different colleges, but our friendship never once changed. We dated people, got involved on campus and became busy with things and people outside of our friendship but once we were all back in town it was as if nothing ever changed. And to this day, it still hasn’t. I feel very fortunate that it hasn’t either. I don’t think most people can say that about a friendship.

Of course on NYE our group was missing a few, but, they were with us in spirit–off celebrating elsewhere–but it doesn’t matter if we’re physically together everyday, we can still pick up right where we left out.

Now I will be honest, there are times where I do worry that some day, in the far, far future we may drift apart–not because we necessarily want to but because we will grow older and other priorities will begin to take focus in life. But, if there’s anything I learned in life it’s to focus on the NOW. Don’t dwell on the past, don’t worry about the future. And I’m going to try my best to do that in 2016.

I’m not sure what the future holds for me this year, or the next, or the year after that, but one thing is for sure–it’ll be what I make of it.

Next week I start my internship at HOMTV, which I am SUPER excited about. As some may or may not know, my previous news job didn’t work out but, it just means the job wasn’t the right fit for me and that my dream job and job that IS MEANT for me is still out there waiting for me. And, I have a feeling this internship will teach me even more to ensure I am well-equipped for my next job afterward.

Now, while of course I am excited about my professional life, I am also super excited about my personal life. It’s been awhile since I’ve dated, like a long while, which, why I am admitting, I have no idea, but, I’ve decided it’s time to step OUTSIDE of my comfort zone and not only take chances–but give chances to people as well. I never know who I may meet who could just be the love of my life. I love love and am a firm believer in it, and believe my “soulmate” is out there. Some people may not believe in soulmates or love and think it’s lame or cheesy that I do but it’s who I am and that’s something that’ll never change.

So, here is to a fresh start, clean slate–whatever you want to call it. I wish whoever is reading this a happy and healthy new year. Know that this year, your life, is what YOU make of it. So be like me, and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. I am going to try my best to do so this year and see what comes of it.

Until next time…

XOXO,

Ana