Communications and Society blog: By and for students in Marist COM 201

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Juan Williams: A Journalism Student’s Perspective

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The above article is one of many written about the firing of Juan Williams, a Senior Analyst for NPR. It includes a representation of Williams’ statement that is what caused him to be fired, according to NPR’s views. However, this is not the end of the story.

The story is outlined in the article, and if you don’t know anything about it, I suggest you read stories from more than one source. The fact of the matter is, no one source is very good at reporting this kind of story, because they all have some sort of bias.

As a journalism student, I am taught to present the facts and not really offer an opinion. Not offering an opinion doesn’t mean I don’t have one, as any journalist can attest. I was just as enraged about this firing when I heard and saw the actual segment and heard the responses as anyone. But, as a journalist, I am expected to not voice that opinion.

Williams was on an opinion based show when this happened. As such, the voicing of his opinion was part of what O’Reilly wanted him to do. It is very difficult for someone to keep their opinion to themself when someone else is shouting their opinion.  Williams defended his position multiple times, and even said in later segments that he shouldn’t feel that way, but he does, because he’s human. Everyone has irrational fears, and although they might not voice them as publicly as Williams did, they are still present.

One other infuriating thing about this, is the comparison of  what Williams said to that of what Don Imus said a few years ago about the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team. What Imus said about those girls is no where near the same as what Williams said.

Journalists are still human. We have opinions, but unless we write for that section, they are rarely heard.


Written by mjharrop

November 3, 2010 at 7:34 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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