Golden Press

Tisk, Tisk! Liane Membis’ Name is but another Hit to Young Journos


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Copyright: http://bettysandboys.blogspot.com/

I know as a woman the pressure is always on to impress and do our very best. I also know as a woman of “black” we are often the only one in the newsroom and possibly face even more pressure to compete with the big boys. So, when I read about Liane Membis, the Wall Street Journal intern who was recently fired for fabricating sources, today as I surfed in and out of news articles online, I was highly disappointed. Not as a woman of color, but as a woman.

Being a graduate of Howard University, a school that many others worship for its excellence, academia and talent, I know how it feels to want to uphold greatness. Though I can sympathize, I have never attended an Ivy League too relate to the daily pressures that Membis may have faced. The recent graduate of Yale University and contributor to the Yale Daily News has caused her school embarrassment. The school is looking back at old articles to verify all her sources every used. Now this is a campus paper verifying a student’s sources.

Membis also has other bylines with heavyweights: CNN.com, the Huffington Post and Ebony Magazine. There’s been no talk if they too will pull her stories.

This situation reminded me of the movie Shattered Glass and other popular scandals at big news organizations as The Washington Posts ( Janet Cooke ) and The New York Times (Jayson Blair). Two black reporters who careers fell apart.

As disappointed in Membis as I am I have an issue also with news organizations that hire interns. It has been plenty of times I have interned where there has been an intern from a popular school as Medill or Columbia J School. Now I’m not saying these students don’t have talent, but I often wonder if they have acquired the internship because of talent or the name of their school.

I am often happy when I have to explain to someone where my school is located. Though in affluent black communities it is known as “The Mecca” to me it’s a little reminder that I am only Jarondakie Patrick. I am the reporter that they will get to know. And yes I do represent my Alma mater, but it’s more important to me that people remember me as Jarondakie the reporter who offered us this, reported about this, or did this really great interview.

Membis is also a member of a woman’s organization, Delta Sigma Theta, that I respect for their work in the African American community. Now there is no salt being thrown Ms. Membis’ way. I know we all make mistakes. I just hope this one doesn’t tornish other black women or women coming from Yale University or other schools. I truly hope that Membis can recover from this situation or if not as so many have not been able to do so. I hope she becomes a reminder to upcoming journos from schools all across the world that though it’s a lot of pressure, our names are so much more important. In media we have to treat our names as diamonds. For that is all we have.

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July 3, 2012 - Posted by | Fun, Fun Topics

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