Think Like A Journalist | Kelsey Samuels | TEDxPlano

Think Like A Journalist | Kelsey Samuels | TEDxPlano



when I was in high school I was in love with this guy named Steven he was tall dark handsome he looked like Wesley Snipes had a baby with the chocolate cake now he asked me to homecoming in my computer science class and at that point in my life if you said bless you I was ready to pick out bridesmaids and a wedding registry now I fell head over heels for him but I don't think he felt the same about me especially when he ditched me at homecoming and started making out with a random girl but he he said he liked me you know he would buy me snacks at lunch and take me home from school and he always said hided me in the hallway that's what love is isn't it well it was Valentine's Day and I am spoken to him in three days so I started to separate myself from Steve junior in our house in the country but then there he was he walked into the middle of my chemistry class with a box of chocolates and a little teddy bear holding my heart that said I love you and immediately everyone once said oh my gosh he's so romantic that's so sweet and I was like I know we're so happy we're so in love at least I thought I go to third period and I see three girls with identical chocolate boxes and teddy bears holding little hearts that say I love you and a friend pulled me aside and said Steve got you a gift to see what I had perceived as a declaration of love was really just a guy being nice to me and three other girls in my grade see I was wrong about Steve but that wasn't the first time or the last time I've kind of become acquainted with being wrong I'm a reporter for the Plano Starr courier so I cover everything from breaking news city council scoreboard anything in the community and my job is to get it right names dates people's faces people's quotes and my work is more important than ever because what I write helps shape people's perspective of their community with a single headline I can make or break a residents belief in their city council their school board their neighborhood or the fundamental reason they moved to a community now we're living in a time with a lot of mistrust in the media alternative facts and fake news are casually thrown around and we saw a ton of it during the recent election cycle so much so that Stanford and NYU did a study on social media and fake news in the 2016 election now we saw headlines like Trump says if black lives don't matter here go back to Africa or even tens of thousands of fraudulent Clinton votes found in Ohio warehouse which just between us like these are terrible headlines like their trash trash headlines and all people still believed them and shared them millions of times particularly on Facebook now officials came out and said there are no votes found this is absolutely incorrect you know different representatives from each camp said none of this that he said or she said was true but from the study they found that people saw and remembered 92% of Pro Trump stories and 23% of Pro Clinton stories so what does that tell us mainly that people may have doubted the truth in these stories but they still believed they were possible so yeah maybe Trump didn't say those exact words but he's still a bigot or no Clinton probably didn't have those votes but she's still untrustworthy and that's the thing we're creating perspectives based on nothing but lies and that's kind of how we're starting to use news we're using media to reinforce our personal biases instead of adjusting our beliefs to fit the evidence in front of us so what is our Savior how do we stop the spread of fake news how do we stay grounded in reality instead of a world that we make up in our heads I think the first step is self-reflection it's everyone taking a step back and asking themselves what if I am the problem what if I am out of line what if I am wrong now the way that we share news is incredibly rapid pace there is no gatekeeper so essentially everyone is their own gatekeeper and especially when there's mistrust in the media it's very common for people to turn inwards and to start to only rely on sources they've always trusted so those new stations they've always believed friends relatives people they know love and trust with similar backgrounds and similar beliefs and it goes far beyond media how many of us don't even go to a restaurant unless it has at least four stars on Yelp or we don't read a book or watch a movie or even been just show on Netflix unless someone says you've just got to watch this it's so easy for us to share news with a simple click of a button we can share good news bad news messy news and when we were kids we were always told sharing is caring but how much care do we put behind the things that we share growing up my parents were a bit of over sharers they were always talking to us about the real I remember being sat down as a child and my parents telling me Kelsey you will always have to work twice as hard to be considered just as good no I didn't believe them I'm like we live in the suburbs we have a two-story house I just figured that was something old black people told their kids and my parents never shied away from telling us the truth American history in black history even outside of February we learned about slavery and lynchings and Selma and the march on Washington and yet a part of me still felt like racism couldn't really touch me so flash-forward I'm a sophomore in college and we're discussing the latest news story out of Florida a little boy has been killed by a neighborhood watchman it's the first time I've ever heard Trayvon Martin's name or anything about a stand-your-ground law and as we're discussing the incident in the context surrounding the case I immediately think this doesn't feel right something is wrong this cannot be real and as soon as class is over I do what everyone else does I hop on social media to see who else is talking about this and there is nothing on my facebook nothing on my Twitter not even my favorite youtubers are talking about this and I'm heated because I'm like this is a huge story this is such a tragedy why is no one discussing this but then it dawned on me I had created a social media experience where racism and injustice didn't exist I'd cherry-picked the friends I followed the conversations on my timeline to exclude anything negative or real and when I was confronted with the reality that we didn't live in a post-racial society and that racism was still alive and well and that the world was not okay because Berio was president I felt like I was living a lie but even worse I just wish someone would have told me someone would have pulled me to the side and said Kelsey what you're thinking is wrong and you need to get right that's not the way this is the way but I had to realize someone did try to help me my parents who talked to me about slavery and lynchings and Selma and the march on Washington see my problem was that I didn't think I had anything else to learn American history I passed that class with an A and I thought I was done learning about the world around me and that's just not true see today I can fight a lot of those urges because as a reporter I get a ton of practice I'm constantly asking myself what if you're wrong it keeps me grounded it keeps me looking for every perspective to a story every perspective to the truth not just the ones that suit my fancy so what can we do what can we do to stay truthful and stay real I think it starts with self reflection I think it starts with everyone taking an introspective look at their beliefs questioning and asking themselves are my beliefs a reflection of the reality in front of me or are they just stale memories from middle school now maybe being wrong doesn't have to be something dramatic like it was for me it could be something simple like there has to be different perspectives to this situation or even just admitting the situation isn't as simple as I think it is it helps us make sure that our beliefs are a true reflection of the reality that we're living in and it's worth it it's worth it to switch up where we get our news you know and be more discerning with the news that we absorb so like if you get that story from real hip-hop news calm like google it real quick before you share it like read the headline and the lead and the rest of it before you talk about it I'm sure if the story has only uh sources it's probably not real news and you guys don't have to share that messy story that you see online the buck can stop with you we are our loved ones gate first we shouldn't lead them astray it's also worth it to diversify where we get our news so if you guys always watch fox news try MSNBC or try both try lots of perspectives to a story before you create an opinion it's also worth it to try and get your news from someone who doesn't look like you I haven't always had the privilege to absorb news from someone who looks like me but I can tell you it adds a completely different perspective to a lot of stories we consistently see it helps broaden the base of your understanding there are tons of reporters of color who are doing incredible work and you should check them out there's people like Van Newkirk the second at the Atlantic or Franchesca Ramsey on MTV decoded there's podcasts like another round with heaven and Tracy even YouTube channels like flama or wongfuproductions by diversifying my new space I am more than confident that my beliefs are reflection of the reality that I'm living in I have been challenged and stretched and forced to bend and I am better for it when I was younger in church brother Reed our youth director he would always tell us you don't change the Bible to fit your life you change your life to fit the Bible and I think the same can be said for the truth and it's not easy work if it was easy everyone would do it but it's worthwhile work and it starts with you it starts with me it starts with us thank you

19 thoughts on “Think Like A Journalist | Kelsey Samuels | TEDxPlano

  1. Woodward and Bernstein became famous going after Republican Nixon. The Post, now owned by Bezos, has gone very far to the Left, and the Post will NEVER look into the protection of Hillary and the wiretapping of the Trump campaign.

  2. That was incredible, truly.Trying to think of something meaningful to say but how do you follow THAT — Bravo

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