PB Attends Wall Street Journal’s Student-Editor Summit

Photo Credit: Rachel Dalloo


By Rachel Dalloo

York College was one of the colleges from across the city that was invited to The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) annual Student-Editor Summit. The March 22 Summit consisted of editors from WSJ, who spoke to the students about the current positions they hold.

They elaborated on reporting for a prestigious news organization and the danger of reporting during the current administration.

They also discussed their previous careers as reporters before ending up at their present job at WSJ. Speakers Emma Moody, Louise Story, Jillian Melchior, and Lena Bell are all currently employed as editors at WSJ.

Emma Moody, who currently serves as the WSJ Deputy Chief News Editor, discussed how covering stories during the Trump Presidency can be quite a handful.  According to Moody, reporters are constantly under intense pressure and constantly get stuck in between some extreme situations.

“It’s extremely tough,” Moody said. “It’s not something I ever thought that we would encounter. It’s sort of a broad critique of what we do, and a questioning of what we do. No matter what we do, it is actually factually and truthful. That is something that we are constantly aware of. We are not going out of our way to be in the drama and say ‘It is true! It is true!’ We’re just doing what we do.”

The Trump administration has made many attempts to block reporters from multiple news organizations from having access to the White House press briefings. The current administration has also labeled the press as the “enemy of the people” and repeatedly called multiple media organization “fake news”.

“It is our job to make sure we are fair and accurate at all times, Moody added. “You are not doing the job of a journalist, if people like your articles half of the time. We don’t want to be paid for our journalism.”

Louise Story, the newsroom strategy editor for WSJ, commented on the newsroom situation at the WSJ. She noted how the publication has made a decision to join Apple’s new paid subscription news service. Currently, the WSJ is the only print news organization to join. Both The New York Times and The Washington Post have decided not to join the service.

“We’re focusing on both current and future audiences,” said Story, who was also an Investigative Reporter for The News York Times for 12 years. “We both look and add new content to our platform. Younger people are the voices of the future.”

They also talked about how newspapers are seen as one of the most trusted sources of information. According to a 2018 Forbes article, The Wall Street Journal was found to be the most trustworthy news source in the country.

“The newsroom is not taking a side in politics,” said story. “The Journal has long been down the middle. We don’t tell people what to do or how to think. We just lay out the facts.”

Jillian Melchior and Lena Bell both explored the topic of news versus opinion pieces. A news article, they said, tends to focus more on the who, what, where, why, when of a story and opinions of the reporters do not appear in these articles. However, opinion pieces are often found in newspapers as well, where writers mix both facts and opinions.

“Don’t be afraid to take on the news,” Bell stated. “Find a story that you like, think about what the writer is doing, Make a statement, and back up with statistics or quotes. Quoting an allegation, put “alleged” to protect your name. To all young journalists, know your history.”

“Our country is so divided right now,” Melchior said. “Being straightforward and honest about our opinions make a difference. Compelling news arguments are based on facts. There are good arguments on both sides. We don’t cover it if it’s not true or accurate.

While there may be many setbacks and cons to be being a journalist they assured the student reporters that there are, in the end, more pros that come with a profession like this. A journalist affects the public by providing information to help shape the future. Journalists are meant  to be watchdogs, storytellers and informants for the world. They hold the responsibility of providing the truth to their audience.

“Always be interested in the truth,” said Melchior. “Your core of being a journalist is being interested in telling the truth. If you can get a scoop that no one else can get, the door is open. Nine times out of 10 times, when a story is off limits, that’s where it’s most corrupted.”

York College was one of the colleges from across the city that was invited to The Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) annual Student-Editor Summit. The March 22 Summit consisted of editors from WSJ, who spoke to the students about the current positions they hold.

They elaborated on reporting for a prestigious news organization and the danger of reporting during the current administration.

They also discussed their previous careers as reporters before ending up at their present job at WSJ. Speakers Emma Moody, Louise Story, Jillian Melchior, and Lena Bell are all currently employed as editors at WSJ.

Emma Moody, who currently serves as the WSJ Deputy Chief News Editor, discussed how covering stories during the Trump Presidency can be quite a handful.  According to Moody, reporters are constantly under intense pressure and constantly get stuck in between some extreme situations.

“It’s extremely tough,” Moody said. “It’s not something I ever thought that we would encounter. It’s sort of a broad critique of what we do, and a questioning of what we do. No matter what we do, it is actually factually and truthful. That is something that we are constantly aware of. We are not going out of our way to be in the drama and say ‘It is true! It is true!’ We’re just doing what we do.”

The Trump administration has made many attempts to block reporters from multiple news organizations from having access to the White House press briefings. The current administration has also labeled the press as the “enemy of the people” and repeatedly called multiple media organization “fake news”.

“It is our job to make sure we are fair and accurate at all times, Moody added. “You are not doing the job of a journalist, if people like your articles half of the time. We don’t want to be paid for our journalism.”

Louise Story, the newsroom strategy editor for WSJ, commented on the newsroom situation at the WSJ. She noted how the publication has made a decision to join Apple’s new paid subscription news service. Currently, the WSJ is the only print news organization to join. Both The New York Times and The Washington Post have decided not to join the service.

“We’re focusing on both current and future audiences,” said Story, who was also an Investigative Reporter for The News York Times for 12 years. “We both look and add new content to our platform. Younger people are the voices of the future.”

They also talked about how newspapers are seen as one of the most trusted sources of information. According to a 2018 Forbes article, The Wall Street Journal was found to be the most trustworthy news source in the country.

“The newsroom is not taking a side in politics,” said story. “The Journal has long been down the middle. We don’t tell people what to do or how to think. We just lay out the facts.”

Jillian Melchior and Lena Bell both explored the topic of news versus opinion pieces. A news article, they said, tends to focus more on the who, what, where, why, when of a story and opinions of the reporters do not appear in these articles. However, opinion pieces are often found in newspapers as well, where writers mix both facts and opinions.

“Don’t be afraid to take on the news,” Bell stated. “Find a story that you like, think about what the writer is doing, Make a statement, and back up with statistics or quotes. Quoting an allegation, put “alleged” to protect your name. To all young journalists, know your history.”

“Our country is so divided right now,” Melchior said. “Being straightforward and honest about our opinions make a difference. Compelling news arguments are based on facts. There are good arguments on both sides. We don’t cover it if it’s not true or accurate.

While there may be many setbacks and cons to be being a journalist they assured the student reporters that there are, in the end, more pros that come with a profession like this. A journalist affects the public by providing information to help shape the future. Journalists are meant  to be watchdogs, storytellers and informants for the world. They hold the responsibility of providing the truth to their audience.

“Always be interested in the truth,” said Melchior. “Your core of being a journalist is being interested in telling the truth. If you can get a scoop that no one else can get, the door is open. Nine times out of 10 times, when a story is off limits, that’s where it’s most corrupted.”

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