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

Change is inevitable, progress is optional…

So, it’s been a minute since I’ve last blogged.

Okay, so it’s been two months but, I’ve busy with work, a bridal shower, a bachelorette party, my 26th birthday, patiently (okay, not so patiently waiting) for the arrival of my nephew, etc. etc.

Alright, so maybe I haven’t been that busy to where I couldn’t blog but let me tell you, sleep is my number two priority after work. LOL. When I am not working or busy with other commitments you can guarantee I am sleeping or watching ridiculous Lifetime Movie Network movies.

Anyway… Moving along.

So today actually marks the two month anniversary of when I moved into my apartment and then on Saturday it will have been two months since I started my first day at C-T. (That’s The Chronicle-Tribune for those of you who don’t know the abbreviation, lol, because I don’t feel like repeatedly typing it out)

Work has been a learning process–fun, cool, exciting. I still consider myself a rookie because coming in I felt a bit rusty. I had just finished up my internship at HOMTV and yes, I obviously studied journalism and got my degree in it and had my intern at WLNS, etc., but, being back in a print-focused atmosphere was something I was struggling to get a hold of again. Thankfully my co-workers and boss are awesome and have been helping me out along the way. I mean yeah I still have more to learn, and always will, I believe with any job it’s like that, and thankfully I’ve had great mentors along the way.

Of course, while I’m learning a lot and still getting to know the town of Marion, I wouldn’t be being completely honest if I said I didn’t have some challenges along the way. Like for example, after the Fourth of July holiday weekend when I was leaving my cottage to come back I got upset, and quite honestly, it was hard to say my “see you later’s” to my family. My mom saw it firsthand, and as any good mom, she told me everything would be okay. And deep down I knew it would be, but, at that exact moment I didn’t want to leave after having spent an incredible weekend with my whole immediate family, plus my uncle Steve.

Fast forward to this past weekend, and same thing happened. I know, it sounds pathetic, especially being 26-years-old–an adult–living on her own but, it did happen again and, I have no doubt it will happen again until I become more familiar with Marion and meeting friends and having people to hang out with instead of just constantly being by myself in my apartment when I get home from work. Anyway, this time it happened not while I was leaving from home in Michigan to my home here, but rather, leaving Nashville and coming back home to Indiana but wanting to make it all the way back to Michigan for just the night so I could finally meet my nephew Stone.

So Stone was born on Wednesday, July 27, 2016. My sister-in-law, Jamie, went to the hospital early Tuesday morning (like the middle of the night), and my mom called me at 6:30 a.m. to tell me she had so. Of course that was the morning I was scheduled to drive down to Nashville to stay with my old college roommate and friend, Kayla, and see my cousin’s new house and then spend the rest of the weekend celebrating the bride-to-be, Alison, and I was put in a tough spot. Part of me was dying to go home instead so I could be there when he was actually born but, the other part of me wanted to stick to my plan and go on to Nashville because I thought it would be rude if I didn’t. Plus, what ultimately made me choose Nashville over the birth of Stone was that I knew I wouldn’t get to celebrate Alison and her bachelorette party again, but, that Stone would and will always be there when I visit home next. It was still a tough decision for me and as soon as he was actually born and my mom sent me pictures I felt like I was immediately starting to regret making the trip down south. He was more beautiful and perfect than I could have ever imagined. Words couldn’t describe the feelings I had when I saw him (in picture form) for the first time. But, let’s just say I was at out shopping at the mall at the time and definitely started tearing up, in the baby clothes department, looking all kinds of pathetic. LOL.

Fast forward to Tuesday, two days ago, and when I found out I would get to leave early from work I knew I had to make the 2.5 hour drive home to see my nephew. Sure, I will be going home again tomorrow but, I seriously just couldn’t take it any longer. I drove home as fast as I could and when I got to my brother and sister-in-law’s house, I RAN to the front door. (And for those who know me, you know I don’t run for anything–I HATE running, lmao.) I open the door and see Jamie feeding Stone, and I am even more shocked and taken away at how precious, beautiful and perfect he really is. I called Jamie as I was leaving town to tell her I was coming home and wanted to see him and also warned her I would probably cry when I saw him. Thankfully I was able to hold my tears back but I kid you not, every time I look at a picture of him, and even yesterday when I was out shopping for groceries at Meijer but then “somehow” ended up in the baby boy clothes section, I started tearing up. LOL.

I’m sure some of you are probably wondering why I am so emotional over Stone and maybe even some of my family members are thinking back to when their babies were born and how I didn’t act like this. It’s not that I love any of my other nieces and nephews any less or anything like that–I will tell you now that being an aunt is my greatest “gig” yet and I’ve been lucky enough to be one since I was 2.5 years old. But with Stone, it is different. And I will tell you why…

My older brother Adam, is someone, who despite us literally fighting sometimes or him just being a natural big brother and picking on me from time to time in general, is someone I appreciate and look up to. I look up to all of my siblings, yes, and I love them all the same. But, for those of you who know Adam–you know he is, how do I put it? A bit “rough around the edges”, if you will. He’s not perfect by any means but, who is? No one. When he was growing up he wasn’t a horrible teenager but, he wasn’t an angel either. (Love you, Adam) And so of course when he and Jamie told the family at Christmas last year that they were expecting I lost it. Mind you, I had a few glasses of wine in me, lol, but, even to present day, I get emotional thinking about him as a dad. I guess to be honest there were some days, some moments where I thought, “Adam as a dad? Yeah right, not any time soon–more like not for a long time.” And, I think part of me thought this because I had always known him to be the one who likes to have fun, doing whatever it may be. But, after the news broke and time went on, I knew he and Jamie were going to be forced to “grow up” (not saying that they were careless/reckless or anything like that) or rather, “upgrade” to parent status. It was weird to think about, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t have doubts but, at the end of the day, I knew they would make great parents. Like any parents, I imagine (I can’t speak 100% because I myself am not a parent yet), they will make mistakes and deal with Stone acting out as he grows up and gets older but, that’s normal for any family with kids. Seeing Adam transition from the “having fun” guy to dad, is something that’s very sentimental to me. (If that’s the right word to use??) Not that I am not proud of Jamie, or my other siblings with kids, but, this is my big brother, Adam, we’re talking about. It’s just something that’s hard to explain without it coming out wrong so if you’re reading this and taking it the wrong way, I am sorry. It just is something different with Adam being a dad. Even just typing this is making me emotional.

At the end of the day, I love all of my nieces and nephews the same. I hate that they grow up so fast, though, which, is also part of the reason I think I am so obsessed and in love with Stone. That, and we haven’t had a baby boy since… Calvin, I believe, and he’ll be 10 (?) this year. REALLY?! It’s just crazy how fast time goes by and how quickly each one of them grows up. Even Annabelle, who will be 3-years-old in December (OMG, that just hit me… THREE?!), has grown up so fast right before my very eyes. And that’s not to say my nieces and nephews aren’t as fun when they grow up, but, their priorities shift as they get older just like mine did. My niece Madi has two daughters, is engaged… My nephew Drew is in college, has a job… My nephew Zach is a SENIOR in high school and will graduate next year… My niece, Gabi, will be fourteen, WHAT?!… My nephew Max will be THIRTEEN (I think, right? See, I myself am getting too old to remember everyone’s age, LOL) in December AND he now has his own cell phone. I texted him a couple times so far and one time when I texted him asking him if he was watching Big Brother he said “no” and then didn’t really say much to me after that so he must have been too tired to text me too 😦 LOL… My niece Amelia and nephew Calvin will both be 10 in November… My nieces Raelynn and Gigi will both start Kindergarten in the fall… And like I said earlier, Annabelle will be THREE in December. And then my niece, Ashlyn, and her girlfriend are both working and have a place of their own and then my nephew, Corey, and his fiancee have their own place too with their two kids and pets. I mean, they’re all grown up! This is partly why I freaked when I wasn’t there when Stone was born because I there for just about every other birth of my nieces and nephews and to not be able to be there for Stone tore me apart. Even now, living away, it’s hard because I know I don’t get to see him all the time like I did growing up with my other nieces and nephews.

I have to remind myself though that I don’t live that far and can always come home on a weekend if I don’t work, but, living away in general is still taking getting used to. My mom and dad assure me it will be fine, and I know deep down they’re right. It’s just going to take time.

Hopefully soon I will meet people to hang out with and stuff, but, even if not, it’s a part of the growing up process–just like my mom told me. I am an adult now and she said herself, I can do it. I’m thankful to have the best parents in the world who refuse to let me give up when times get tough. They believe in me enough to know that I can work past whatever it is that is thrown my way. So mom, dad–thank you both. Thank you to all of my family for giving me that push I needed to make the move to work my dream job and do what I love most.

I know there will always be challenges here and there in the future, in whatever aspect/stage of life, but, they’re always there behind me.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana