As a new year begins, news agencies and reporters look to continue adapting to an evolving news world. With the rise of “fake news” and Twitter fights with President- Elect Donald Trump, it is clear that reporting in 2017 will be different than it was only a decade ago. In order to stay current, prominent news organizations, such as CNN and NPR, have taken steps to adjust.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln alum Jeff Zeleny and Exeter, Ne. native, has covered the presidential election as Senior Washington Correspondent for CNN, a quite different subject matter than he started his journalistic career on: UNL football.
While political reporting and sports reporting may seem worlds apart, Zeleny believes there is at least one important similarity-- remaining unbiased, he said.
When asked about maintaining his journalistic integrity while covering candidates he is sure to develop opinions of, Zeleny said he takes a non-partisan stance. Political reporters are much like sports reporters, who are expected to keep personal preferences in check when covering the latest firing, trade or championship.
In line with maintaining his non-partisan tone, he said that it is important for the media to question both sides of politics. Without an “aggressive, free and fair press” this nation would be negatively impacted, Zeleny said.
A press which fits Zeleny’s description today likely has a much different skill set than would have been required a decade ago, said Sophie Tatum, digital producer for CNN and UNL alumni. It is helpful for aspiring journalists to have experience using various forms of media, especially when organizations such as CNN prioritize digital outlets over more traditional TV based reporting, Tatum said.
Also looking to keep pace with a changing news environment is private non-profit organization, National Public Radio (NPR).
The news and broadcast organization has taken advantage of large private donations to construct a new building to give the organization room to grow, said Mallory Yu, a producer for NPR’s All Things Considered.
Yu explained how the new workspace, completed in 2013, is more open, allowing for easier communication and collaboration going forward. Though Yu believes NPR may have hurdles to overcome in the near future, the new building will give the organization the space and tools needed to remain relevant, she said.