Local reporters discuss investigative storytelling


Jack Belcher, Senior News Reporter

Journalists from the Yakima Herald, the Tacoma News Tribune and the Ellensburg Daily Record talked to students for over a half hour Monday, April 23. The discussion took place in the SURC theater, right after the showing of the movie “The Post.” The discussion detailed the importance of media watchdogs on the government, where to find stories and the dangers of fake news in the modern world.

Kate Martin, a reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune, talked about her dealings with fake news in the past. According to her, a short story about a death in a family over a year ago was subjected to tampering. A fake news website had taken the picture that the paper had printed and used it in a completely different way that twisted the story around.

“The family was very cooperative in trying to get this addressed and to get the truth out,” Martin said. “But it impacts real people, which is unfortunate.”

City editor for the Yakima Herald Republic and CWU graduate Craig Troianello gave an example of how to prosecute a story. For every story that he rights, he ensures that all of the information is accurate. This prevents any misinformation that the paper might print. Troianello told a story about how he worked with a reporter who is now working for the L. A. Times who was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize on a story regarding the black market of body parts.  That reporter later told Troianello the story was looked over by thirty different editors.

CWU Anthropology professor Rodrigo Renteria attended the panel. Renteria believes that journalism is a fundamental practice in society that moderates information.

“I think this is a really good way to start these series of events on the first amendment,” Renteria said.

The goal of the journalist is to serve society while at the same time turning a profit, Renteria said.

The next event in the first amendment festival is “Food for Thought” on Friday, April 27.