“It is a defining era for journalism.”
For Atlanta Journal-Constitution political reporter Greg Bluestein, his career as a journalist is all about informing the public in an era where news is so widely disputed.
Throughout our interview, Bluestein discussed his personal career shift from the widespread coverage of news at the Associated Press to the more focused Atlanta-centered news at the AJC. He credited this career shift to his desire for a new environment where he was able to focus on a community that was important to him. For Greg Bluestein, being a journalist was more about community than anything else.
When I was first tasked with asking a question to a journalist, more specifically Bluestein, I seriously struggled with what to ask. In an age where news is so readily available, there are so many questions at the heart of journalism left unanswered. I ultimately decided to ask him how he thought journalists could restore the American faith in journalism in an era where “fake news” has invaded even our government
To Bluestein my questioned seemed trivial because, to him, it only warranted a seemingly simple answer: “to just keep doing our job”.
Bluestein continued by stating “It sucks. Right now is a defining era for journalism, it is the toughest era we have ever been through…We have a president that openly calls us the enemy of the people…We are being questioned all the time by not just the President, but by Democrats and Republicans who don’t like what we’re writing.
Bluestein believes that fake news has an entirely different meaning today. “Fake news used to be news that was made up… now it has become news that people just don’t like.”
Rather than fake news being actually “fake”, it is news that is fueled by hatred or dislike, or even followed up by angry tweets on twitter.
Bluestein is a real-life reporter in a world obsessed with media. During our 45-minute conversation, Bluestein announced that he had received five tips on developing stories solely via text on his phone. Towards the end of my question, Bluestein discussed how he combats hate he receives on social media, particularly twitter. For the most part, he said, he ignores it.
Bluestein stated that he doesn’t bring attention to those who tweet him ultimately trying to start arguments online. He states that when he wrote several controversial large stories including Stacey Abrams tax liens and even Brian Kemp’s giant raises to his senior staffers, he didn’t engage with the public on twitter.