David Greene stressed the importance of accuracy in reporting, especially with modern ways of communication at the Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers Wednesday.
Greene, who has worked as a journalist for the Baltimore Sun and is now a host of National Public Radio programs “Morning Edition” and “Weekend Edition,” said reporters have to be careful, especially in this day in age, to stick to the fundamentals of reporting.
“Being fair, being accurate, and all of this power,” Greene said. “You, and we, as we go forward in this profession, we cannot forget [these fundamentals].”
Greene also stressed the importance of social media since it is becoming a large force in the news industry. He said Twitter can help reporters do their job, but can also present other issues.
“The faster things move, the harder it is to stop and think about the fundamentals,” Greene said.
He encouraged audience members to stop and think before they release information on Twitter, and remember that tweets are tied to a person’s name and reputation.
Students at the conference seemed to appreciate the modern and candid discussion of how social media affects news stories.
“You have to be hands on to get stories right,” Christopher Urban (junior-print journalism) said. “Speed isn’t what matters.”
Likewise, students were also concerned about journalists being too quick to report and being biased.
“I can definitely see what he is saying about how [Twitter] creates risks with people rushing to put stories out, and how society is diverging from the fundamentals,” Gianna DeGraba(junior-public relations) said.
This is the 27th Foster-Foreman Conference. Since the first year, the conference has brought 35 Pulitzer Prize winners to University Park. Sara Ganim, a Penn State and Daily Collegian alumna who won a Pulitzer Prize this year for her reporting on the Jerry Sandusky case, spoke Tuesday night.
Larry Foster, who introduced David Greene to the audience, said Greene worked his way up from being an a senior editor on the Harvard Crimson newspaper to a reporter on the Baltimore Sun. Then, after about seven years of experience at the Baltimore Sun, he joined National Public Radio in 2005, Foster said.
Greene said it was his late mother who inspired him because she pressed the fact that everyone has a story. Greene then went on to mention how he earned a job at the Baltimore Sun right after graduating from college.
One of his first beats for the Baltimore Sun was covering school board meetings, which he said were not exciting all the time.
“The stories weren’t always breathtaking but they were so important,” Greene said.