Budding reporters and politics

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Budding reporters and politics

Young jour­nal­ists cov­er­ing the Demo­c­rat con­ven­tion lis­tened to a point of view they are unlikely to hear this week in Philadel­phia — a con­ser­v­a­tive one.

As a jour­nal­ism pro­fes­sor at Tem­ple Uni­ver­sity, I was invited to speak to a group of 25 stu­dents at the School Dis­trict of Philadel­phia, spend­ing about two hours answer­ing ques­tions and talk­ing about the upcom­ing pres­i­den­tial race.

We calmly dis­cussed many issues, includ­ing race rela­tions, immi­gra­tion and Don­ald Trump.

You real­ize that almost no one agreed with you, one stu­dent told me later, adding that a teacher did describe the meet­ing as a turn­ing point in the stu­dents’ jour­nal­is­tic train­ing. Of course, I replied, that’s because you’ve almost never heard a con­ser­v­a­tive point of view.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_86363” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”]Harper meets with Philadelphia students reporting on the convention. Philadel­phia stu­dents meet a conservative.[/caption]

These stu­dents are among the best and the bright­est from Philadelphia’s trou­bled schools. But their beliefs seem mired in years of left­ist edu­ca­tion and peer pressure.

One stu­dent stated matter-​of-​factly that Trayvon Mar­tin was mur­dered. He was killed, I responded, and a jury found George Zim­mer­man inno­cent of mur­der. Accu­racy is crit­i­cal in jour­nal­ism, I added.

One asked this ques­tion: Why can’t every­one come to the United States like we can go to other coun­tries? We can visit, but we can’t live in China, Europe or much of the world, I replied, because Amer­i­cans, like U.S. immi­grants, need res­i­dence visas.

Another posed this ques­tion: Isn’t it pos­si­ble Don­ald Trump would declare mar­tial law? If he did, many con­ser­v­a­tives would exer­cise their rights under the Sec­ond Amend­ment, I said.

I’m not sure I con­vinced many of them to come around to a con­ser­v­a­tive view­point, but one of the newly minted reporters asked me for an inter­view after the ses­sion. One step at a time, I thought.

[cap­tion id=“attachment_86197” align=“aligncenter” width=“300”]Longtime journalist Christopher Harper teaches media law. Long­time jour­nal­ist Christo­pher Harper teaches media law and writes at www​.media​mashup​.org[/​caption]

A note from DaT­e­chGugy: I hope you enjoyed Christo­pher Harper’s piece. Remem­ber we will be judg­ing the entries in Da Mag­nif­i­cent try­outs by hits both to their post and to DaTip­Jar. So if you like Christo­pher Harper’s work, please con­sider shar­ing this post, and if you hit DaTip­jar because of it, don’t for­get to men­tion Chris’ post is the rea­son you did so.




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Young journalists covering the Democrat convention listened to a point of view they are unlikely to hear this week in Philadelphia—a conservative one.

As a journalism professor at Temple University, I was invited to speak to a group of 25 students at the School District of Philadelphia, spending about two hours answering questions and talking about the upcoming presidential race.

We calmly discussed many issues, including race relations, immigration and Donald Trump.

You realize that almost no one agreed with you, one student told me later, adding that a teacher did describe the meeting as a turning point in the students’ journalistic training. Of course, I replied, that’s because you’ve almost never heard a conservative point of view.

Harper meets with Philadelphia students reporting on the convention.
Philadelphia students meet a conservative.

These students are among the best and the brightest from Philadelphia’s troubled schools. But their beliefs seem mired in years of leftist education and peer pressure.

One student stated matter-of-factly that Trayvon Martin was murdered. He was killed, I responded, and a jury found George Zimmerman innocent of murder. Accuracy is critical in journalism, I added.

One asked this question: Why can’t everyone come to the United States like we can go to other countries? We can visit, but we can’t live in China, Europe or much of the world, I replied, because Americans, like U.S. immigrants, need residence visas.

Another posed this question: Isn’t it possible Donald Trump would declare martial law? If he did, many conservatives would exercise their rights under the Second Amendment, I said.

I’m not sure I convinced many of them to come around to a conservative viewpoint, but one of the newly minted reporters asked me for an interview after the session. One step at a time, I thought.

Longtime journalist Christopher Harper teaches media law.
Longtime journalist Christopher Harper teaches media law and writes at www.mediamashup.org

A note from DaTechGugy: I hope you enjoyed Christopher Harper’s piece. Remember we will be judging the entries in Da Magnificent tryouts by hits both to their post and to DaTipJar. So if you like Christopher Harper’s work, please consider sharing this post, and if you hit DaTipjar because of it, don’t forget to mention Chris’ post is the reason you did so.




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Please consider Subscribing. If less than 1/3 of 1% of our readers subscribed at $10 a month we’d have the 114.5 subscribers needed to our annual goal all year without solicitation.

Plus of course all subscribers get my weekly podcast emailed directly to you before it goes up anywhere else.


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