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

And then I realized adventures are the best way to learn…

***Note: I’m writing this post based from yesterday. 

I’m walking on the Michigan Flyer,  looking for a spot to sit, annoyed because I’m hungry and tired and have a raging headache, only to be to be more annoyed when I see the number of people on the bus.

(Note to self: Don’t take flights on Thursdays apparently, lol)

I finally find a seat and hear this weird music, that sounded like it was classical or not even that, but, something I don’t hear everyday. At first I thought it was a passenger blaring their music on speaker but, then I finally realized it was playing on the main speaker on the bus. Then, I remembered I had my ear buds in my carry-on so I put those in and turned on Pandora.

I ended up dozing off for a little bit, and then realized we were at the first stop on the way to the DTW Airport. It took me a minute to adjust my eyes to the sunlight and when I looked outside I was again annoyed for how many people I saw standing, waiting in line. I was annoyed because the Michigan Flyer is never this busy. And I like that way, LOL.

Anyway… As I watch people start to board the bus I am totally that person who avoids eye contact with people in hopes they won’t sit by me. Thankfully (?) my natural face just says “you can’t sit with me” and people pass by me. Okay, so maybe I shouldn’t feel “thankful” for having a bitchy face but it definitely works in my favor sometimes. Ha!

After the first stop I attempt to doze off for a little bit longer before we get to my stop at the airport but at that point I was just ready to get there so I could find a bathroom. Lol. The bus had one but I couldn’t bring myself to use it. So we finally make it to the airport and as always, I’m there super early. You know how they say to be there two hours early? Well I am always there two hours early. I’drather be super early and bored than late and rushing, feeling stressed.

I go check my luggage in and see the security line and freak out. It is SO long. I mean, I’ve seen long lines but not quite like this. Of course, I figure with it is this long that TSA will somehow get it moving right along but boy, was a I wrong. Then, I see a bunch of women MSU players and ask one of the girls what sport–softball. I thought it was cool and told them I’m from the East Lansing area (well, close enough). But, within a few minutes I was suddenly annoyed, still technically from before, lol, that I was stuck standing in a line that wasn’t moving because these girls were super squealy and just plain obnoxious. Of course, maybe I wouldn’t have found them AS annoying had I had some food or at least coffee in me.

At last it was my turn to go through the body scanner and I had a necklace on I had to flip so it was on my back, and then afterward had to get a back pat down. Just my back because of my necklace. It was weird but, I obliged and then was finally on my way to the bathroom, get food, and eventually to my gate.

I realized I still had a ton of time to kill and it seemed like everyone was hungry, wanting a drink, or both and we’re taking over Ruby Tuesday and TGI Friday. I decided I would get something to eat at Earl Of A Sandwich like I originally planned because I hadn’t had it since last year when I was at the airport, and before that not since 2013. Damn. 

  
After I ate I went to get coffee only to get to the coffee place and have them notify me they were out of vanilla and caramel. (I wanted vanilla) I decided to pass on coffee, for now, and wandered back to Ruby Tuesday. I can see the restaurant is packed and some people waiting in line but I figured I would ask the hostess anyway if there was by chance an open spot at the bar. She advised me there wasn’t, at least not to sit, but that if I wanted to I could stand. At that point I was desperate for a drink so I agreed and went to the bar. Of course with it being so packed and me being short it took me longer than hoped to get a drink. I ordered a beer, thinking it would be in a bottle or a small glass only to be handed a BIG glass. I accepted and got my bill, and was shocked at how much my beer was. I paid and stood awkwardly by the bar hoping someone would soon get up and leave but it looked like no hope was in sight.

  
But, finally someone left and she let me have her seat and I ended up sitting next to this man and woman (who, by the way, didn’t know each other) who were both on their way to Texas. The woman though had a connecting flight in Nashville so she was actually on my flight. The man called me “kid”, twice, which I couldn’t help but think was odd considering I don’t think of myself as a “kid”, but, maybe he thinks he’s old enough to be my dad? Which, he probably was. LMAO! Anyway…

He was super friendly, chatty. I personally was just trying to get service to surf Facebook and Twitter and expressed my annoyance out loud for not being able to connect. The man heard me and offered to let me connect to his Wifi. I happily accepted and finally decided to be quit being a Scrooge and talk to him. Lol. He asked me what I did for a living and told him I was a reporter and how I had my first live shot experience last week and totally butchered it. I told him it was rather entertaining and that if he really wanted to watch it, he could, at the HOMTV website. I told him there was one condition though–he had to watch it later when I wasn’t around. LOL! God only knows what he thought but as embarrassing as it was, I know practice will only make perfect so the more often I do it, the better I get. Which, speaking of, my next live report is next week so be sure to tune in. Or, you know, don’t, and save me some pressure. HAHA! Also, at some point, probably when I’m not on vacation, I’ll blog about my experience of my first live report. But that’s for another time…

After I finish my beer I head to my gate and am again surprised with how many people are on this flight. Then I’m even more mad at myself for not getting early bird check in so I could have been in the A boarding group and could have gotten a better seat. But I didn’t so I waited until it was boarding group B’s turn and by the time I get on the plane it is packed with everyone doing what I would have done–sitting in the window or aisle seat, all the middle seats empty. I keep making my way to the back in hopes that maybe there is still an aisle seat and just when I think there is one, I look in the aisle and realize it’s a dad and his baby in a car seat next to him. I’m thinking, really?! You’re killing me! Lol. Which, funny enough, I had just been telling my mom earlier that day that I wish they had separate flights for babies and adults. But that’s another story. So it’s getting close to being time to leave and I settled on sitting BEHIND the baby (genius idea. Note: sarcasm) with this mom and her daughter. They were friendly and the girl had a Central Michigan University bag and I asked her if she went there but I found out she was a senior in high school and had just taken a tour. I told her I was an alumni of CMU and how much I loved it but, I think she had her mind made up on another school.

The flight itself felt like the shortest flight I’ve ever been on to Nashville. It was nice but, I brought all this stuff in my carry-on thinking I would need to kill time and it turns out, I didn’t.

So I land and find my way to Kayla and we head to a bar near her house and get a glass of wine seeing as it was National Drink Wine Day and so of course we couldn’t resist. We watched the MSU game and by the end of the night exchanged MY number (thanks, Kayla, lol) with a guy sitting next to us at the bar. That was entertaining to say the least. But after that we finally called it a night and came back to her house, which I was SO, SO excited to see and felt like a little kid on Christmas, lol. It’s a stunning house and the guest bathroom makes me feel like I’m a hotel. So, good job on the design and decor, Kayla.

  

So it’s Friday now*, which means Kayla is at work (boo) and I am at her house currently watching Law And Order: SVU, and so it’s almost like I’m back at home because this is what I would be doing if I actually were at home. Lol! It’s currently sunny outside and 67 degrees out! Can you believe it?! It’s so refreshing to look outside her front window and NOT see snow. (I’m referring to you, Michigan) Think we’re headed to downtown Nashville tonight and I am so excited! I can’t wait! I have my party pants on so I hope Nashville is ready for us! 💁🏻

Until next time…

XO,

Ana

***Side note: I apologize for any grammar and spelling errors as I typed this on my phone and it kept changing words. I tried my best to catch them but, I’m not sure if I got them all.

There’s No Place Like HOM…

It’s Thursday night, and I am currently sitting at my kitchen table, feeling a tad hypocritical for having just had leftover pizza for dinner, and wanting an ice cold beer, but, not having any, while I stare right at my new It Works! starter kit that came in the mail today.

For those of you who don’t know the gist of It Works!, it’s that “crazy wrap thing”… That aims to help you tone, tighten and detoxify your body. Along with a line including a bunch of other products designed to help you be healthier.

Anyway, not my point of this blog…

It’s Thursday night, and I have officially completed week one of my internship at HOMTV.

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HOMTV coffee mug.

While it has only been a couple of days, I must say I am super eager to see what the rest of this semester/experience holds. I have already learned so much in such a short period of time, that I can’t wait to find out what else I will learn from the program/workshops itself, but through my own trials and tribulations.

The first day was orientation, where learned the overview of the program along with the usual procedures and policies. Oh, and we went over dress code… Note To Self: Create shoe bag and leave in carLOL! I am seriously going to find my best shoes and put them in a bag and leave them in my car so I am always prepared. I wore my Ugg boots to the Wednesday night workshop and while no one said anything, I accidentally forgot my work shoes from my coat closet at home. But, given the weather this week, my initial thought was Uggs=WARMTH! LOL.

We also got our picture taken for the HOMTV website, which, I am super geeked about. And yes, I just used the word “geeked.” (A one-time thing, I swear, lol) Not only will this picture be used on the main HOMTV website, but it will also be used for my soon-to-be in live action, FACEBOOOK FAN PAGE! Yep, that’s right. Us reporters get a fan page! I am telling you this now so you can remember to “like” it on Facebook as soon as it’s up and running.

The following day for my morning shift we watched archive videos of past newscasts and wrote our bios for the HOMTV website. It was a little strange at first, writing in the third person, about myself, but, once I got going I couldn’t be stopped. I wrote the serious stuff, like where I graduated from, what I studied, and where I see myself after the internship. And then, of course, I put the fun stuff–like that in my free time I like to watch my favorite TV shows Pretty Little Liars and Criminal Minds, and that I am a coffee mug collector. And course love Chipotle and shoes. (Although, Chipotle, not so much lately… You know, given their whole E-Coli deal…)

Then, later that evening was our first workshop–the reporting workshop. During this we learned about the Society of Professional Journalists: Code of Ethics, the various terms used in television, and watched previous interns’ work, i.e. packages and stand-ups. I most excited about this workshop, as this is the track I will be focusing on–reporting.

The second day, morning shift, we continued/finished watching the archive videos of old newscasts and began working on our first exam. Our first exam is due Tuesday. Will work on that this weekend. EEEK! The evening portion was our field production workshop–where we learned all about how to use a camera. It was a lot of information to process, but, I definitely learned a lot. It makes me even more eager (although just as nervous, too) to get out there and start shooting stuff.

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Me and Ar-Rel getting ready for our future close-ups.

This morning I had off. In the evening we had our editing workshop, which involved even more information than last night. I feel super nervous and overwhelmed at the moment, but, after talking to some of the other interns and a seasoned intern, I can move forward knowing it’s okay/normal to feel this way and that everything will be okay. The workshop tonight taught us how to import, export and edit our footage. It’s a lot to do and a lot to remember, but, like I said before, I AM looking forward to it! Can’t wait to see how I improve over the course of the semester. Yay!

Anyway… So that is what my first week at HOMTV was like. I’ll try to update this more frequently as the internship goes on, but, I know the internship itself will keep me fairly busy so, we’ll see. Anyway, look for me on Facebook soon–my fan page. And, if you haven’t already, be sure to like the HOMTV Faceboo0k page itself by clicking here as well as their Twitter handle at @HOMTV.

Until next time…

XO,

Ana