On Friday morning I will get on the bus for a long trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the Women’s March. I look forward to finding my voice after a long career as a journalist.
For 40 years I have refrained from voicing my opinions on the stories I covered as a journalist. I lived by a simple rule shared by thousands of journalists; find the truth and tell the truth –in a fair and unbiased fashion.
I left my position as a television news anchor and reporter in Duluth, Minnesota at the end of 2016. I am now eager to find my voice, develop my skills as a community activist and learn how to support the issues that I feel are essential to maintain our hard fought rights and freedoms.
On election night 2016 I reported in a fair and un-biased fashion the results of the presidential race while holding back my personal feelings. Now for the first time in decades I am free to share with your that my heart was broken that night. When I woke up the next morning I was praying that the outcome of the election was just a bad dream. But the reality remains that Mr. Trump will be sworn in as our 45th President on the same day I will find myself on a bus with dozens of women traveling to our nation’s capitol.
A Trump presidency scares me, the current majority in congress scares me. As a woman and a mom my fear is not for myself. My fear is reserved for our future generations and my friends and family who are being threatened with the loss of health care. I fear the loss of the right to marry those we love and for our fragile environment balancing on a razor’s edge.
Fear is a great motivator. I will use it to find my voice.
Sometimes when journalists seek the truth it can be a difficult task. But it is a task we willingly accept along with our title and one that is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.
I just read that there is an arrest warrant out for a journalist who has been covering breaking news in North Dakota. “An arrest warrant has been issued in North Dakota for Democracy Now! host and executive producer Amy Goodman.”
There are many news sources to access. I will be adding new sources and I find them.
Here are some interesting links.
Native American News Source
This post was originally published on my personal Facebook Page on Sep. 8, 2016.
Social media has blown up over the past 24 hours over a published comment regarding the clothing worn by a journalist while covering a news story in Minnesota. A local newspaper critic referenced the reporter’s wardrobe choice on the day she covered what perhaps was the biggest story of the year; the confession of the man who kidnapped and murdered Jacob Wetterling. The reporter, Jana Shortal is one of Minnesota’s best. She did her best work that day. Many reporters covering this story did. Unfortunately a pair of pants has now overshadowed that journalistic effort. News flash. Today, we do not require our story tellers to conform to a “perfect” look. Oh boy…back in the day we did! I remember shoulder pads, bow ties and the perfectly hair sprayed styles of the 70’s 80’s and 90’s women in broadcasting endured —to take a chair at the anchor desk along side our male counterparts. I also remember the hand written letters from viewers who felt compelled to write us—if our hair wasn’t perfect. I have a stack of them. They didn’t hesitate to call our news directors or stop us on the street to share their views.
I remember wearing a pair of glasses on air back in the 1980’s. A newspaper reviewer referenced my “goggles.”
Today as we bring the news to our viewers day in and out… we as women in the news business have earned the right to grow old, embrace our wrinkles or extra pounds or wear the clothes that make us feel good in our skin as long as it doesn’t impact the way we perform our jobs. We can do this and stay true to our craft. My advice? Get the facts, deliver them in a clear and concise fashion. Don’t fail to show all sides of the story. Listen to your audience but also listen to your heart. And make sure you correct your spelling before it ends up on air. Now get out there! There is news to report.