Monday, September 23, 2013

CNN journalist Josh Levs meets with Randolph students

“Journalism can now take place anywhere, any time, and even when others try to prevent it,”
CNN reporter Josh Levs recently told Randolph College students. But as modern technology allows almost anyone to become a journalist, the world actually has a greater need for professional journalists, he said.

Levs explained that professional journalists can bring fact checking, analysis, and ethical understanding to help people understand what is happening in the world.

Levs stressed that the important stories of our time are not the ones that dominate headlines, such as conflicts and political moves. “The story of our time is what is going on in science and technology,” said Levs. New technologies allow people to communicate with people around the world, including parts of the world that once were unreachable. One cell phone video posted online can be seen by millions of viewers and encourage people to take action.

Although many people can become the source of information, professional reporters can help consumers make sense about what they are seeing and hearing. “Journalists need to be the reality check,” said Levs. “Explanations are essential.”

Journalists also need to find ethical answers to questions about privacy. In a world where it is possible to capture people on film without their knowledge, journalists must decide what will be conveyed to audiences and what is an invasion of privacy. “You have to fight for what is right in this era of unlimited information,” he said.

Levs, who has earned nicknames such as “Truth Seeker in Chief” and “Mr. Reality” in his reporting career, came to Randolph as a guest of the communication studies department, which offers a multimedia journalism minor.