The Prospector

‘Fake a– News’

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‘Fake a– News’

Brianna Chavez, Copy Editor

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“Fake a– news…You’re fake. You spread fake news. You should be ashamed of yourself.”

That’s what a woman yelled at local KVIA broadcast reporter, Michael Gordon just as he was about to go live Saturday morning.

The woman, who held a sign listing all the news stations that were “fake,” was attending a counter rally to Beto O’Rourke’s hometown presidential rally just one block away in Downtown El Paso.

The entire incident was caught on camera. The footage never aired, but the reporter shared it on his Twitter profile.

The same woman yelled at a different broadcast reporter Saturday morning.

“Put this on the air, not on your stupid a– phone,” the unidentified woman yelled.

The incident was also posted on Twitter. KFOX reporter, Portia Baudisch, tweeted, “Here to tell the story of this rally not feeling very welcome right now.”

Both reporters were there to tell a story. That’s all journalists ever want to do. It’s our job.

As student journalists, our goal is to report objective and accurate stories to the best of our ability. We may not get it right every time, but we’re all still learning.

We are all hoping to gain as much experience as possible in hopes of getting hired by professional publications and continue to tell stories everyday. 

Sometimes, however, incidents like the ones that happened to Gordon and Baudisch make me question if I’m cut out for this job.

As a young girl, I would watch local and national news pretty regularly and thought it was the coolest job in the world. I still do. It was one of the reasons that made me decide to become a journalist. Being able to tell stories and listen to different people is the best part of the job.

When I started my collegiate and professional career, I never considered that I might be yelled at or that it would be possible to have the accuracy of my work questioned, like Gordon and Baudisch.

It wasn’t until February of this year, when President Donald Trump held a rally here in El Paso that I realized those circumstances are very real.

I was fortunate enough to cover that rally. That morning the Prospector’s assistant director, Tracy Roy, gave myself and two other reporters a hand-out with tips to help us in case we were to get into a confrontation with anyone or even get arrested.

Getting arrested never crossed my mind, but in today’s political climate, it’s definitely a plausible outcome.

Unfortunately, those outcomes aren’t new for journalists, but to me, it was a big wake up call.

Multiple people spotted my press pass that day and called me fake news. While I was excited to cover the rally, a first in my career, having random people say those things to you really does take a toll.

However, I wasn’t being yelled at like the woman was doing to those reporters.

Trying to stay professional when incidents like these happen is difficult, at least for me.

Watching videos of the woman getting in those reporters’ faces was difficult. The woman was vulgar and aggressive. Quite frankly, her behavior was unacceptable. Realizing that that could soon happen to me is a bit disheartening.

I’m still figuring out if I’m cut out for this job, but every story I write and every opportunity I have to better myself as a journalist is helping me understand what the job entails.

I’m not sure if my feelings towards reporting will change in the future, but I know that today I can say with confidence that I do enjoy what I do.

I feel terrible for what Gordon and Baudisch experienced. And I hope people can understand that being treated with dignity and respect, in whatever it may be, goes a long way.

If I have to be called fake to be able to tell the stories I want to tell, then so be it.

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‘Fake a– News’