Tag Archives: Journalism

Dr. Cannon speaks at Union County Library on how to discern facts from fake news

Leah Joyner, Staff Writer

Monroe, N.C.– Community members in Union County may have felt like they had gone back to college when they attended a program taught by Dr. Keith Cannon, the Chair and Professor of Journalism at Wingate University in the Communications Department.

He spoke on Tuesday night at the Union County Monroe Public Library with the subject on news media being fact or fake and how to discern the truth.

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Photo Credit: Leah Joyner

Cannon decided to title his talk “Today’s News: Fake, Fair, and Balanced… or Something Else Entirely” and focused on the news media and the depth of reporting. Similar to his teaching style, Cannon encouraged audience participation in his lecture. By engaging the attendees in open discussion, he was able to tailor his answers to them and help them understand his views and knowledge on the subject matter.

With over 40 years of journalism experience, he is a qualified teacher to speak about fake news and the news media in general. In addition to teaching about the history of news media, Cannon talked about the hot button topics like discerning propaganda in the media and how to fact check news sources. Cannon listed websites like Politifact and FactCheck.org to help individuals do their own research.

If some people are skeptical about fact-checking sites that they consider untrustworthy, Cannon suggested they can do their own research by going straight to the primary source. He continued to share a fake story about a Supreme Court decision that was posted on social media that people couldn’t actually find on the Supreme Court website.

“Something that I tell my students all the time is I’m not here to tell you what to think…the basic thing I am telling you is to test it for yourself,” said Cannon.

Cannon motivated the audience that to have journalistic standards, one must use objectivity, strive for accuracy, be thorough in their research, and write well. He also encouraged young professionals that now is a good time to become entrepreneurs in this market.

Since 1994, Cannon has been a Wingate faculty and has been a department chair since 2010. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and was a past president of the Charlotte Pro chapter of SPJ. He is very involved on social media where people can follow him at @KeithCannon on Twitter and search Keith Cannon on Facebook.
To learn more about the types of programs the Union County Public Library offers the community, visit http://www.co.union.nc.us/departments/library.

Edited by: Brea Childs

Veteran Shares Difficult Training Regimen For 31 Marathons

Photo by Gabriela Cabrera

Joanna King, Staff Writer

Rob Jones, an amputee veteran, ran his 29th marathon on Thursday, November 9, in his mission to complete 31 marathons in 31 days.  Residents of Charlotte showed up at 6 a.m. to show their support and run alongside him.

Jones plans to set an example for other veterans who have gone through similar trials.  Also, Jones hopes to have an impact on those who have not experienced such a life-altering event.

“Instead of seeing tragedy or hardship as something that is blocking your path or getting in your way, seeing it as an opportunity to get stronger…seeing it as something that can make you better,” said Jones.

Jones consistently ran and trained his body for 18 months prior to beginning the marathons, said Pam Jones, the wife of Rob Jones. During training, Jones ran two hours every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.  On Friday he ran one and each Thursday, he ran a full marathon. Sunday was his only day off.

Jones’ wife said the physical fitness came quickly for him. She said he had always been a natural athlete.  The biggest concern was conditioning his joints in preparation for a month of marathons.

Rob Jones was completely self-coached.  Pam Jones commented on how determined he was and how his childhood led him to be a disciplined individual.  

Growing up, Rob Jones was an athlete and had coaches who pushed him to be the best he could be.  The military also forced Jones to be disciplined and ready for anything.  As a result, Jones knew what his body needed in order to complete this challenge.  

Jones took it upon himself to research and learn as much as he could about nutritional benefits. Pam Jones said he is always looking for a way to improve himself physically and mentally.  

“He is just one of those people that wants to be a better person every day, and that could be by making himself physically better or making himself mentally better,” said Pam Jones.  “He has been researching and reading books.  He is constantly trying to expand his knowledge about something.”

Jones’ diet was also a crucial part to excelling in his performance.  Jones’ wife pre-made all food before the trip to freeze while they were traveling.  This limited the cooking time and supplies they would have to carry with them.

“Rob eats the same food every single day so that he has the right breakdown of calories.  He has the exact same meal prepared the exact same way every single day.  Which for you and me, would seem very monotonous, but that is what he needs to do in order to get the right calories from the right place,” said Pam Jones.

Jones was held to a strict high-fat diet, which helped with reducing inflammation in his joints and abrasions on his legs.  

During the process of running every day, Rob Jones kept his heart rate below 150 beats per minute in order to reduce the tissue breakdown.  Jones set a personal record while running his 10th marathon in Chicago, Illinois.

Pam Jones said the recovery process is just as important as the preparation process. She made sure that all Jones had to do was focus on running, sleeping, eating and talking to any media who came through.  She focused on driving the RV, cooking the food, and keeping him up to date on who he would be talking to at each location.

Carol Miller, Jones’ mother and a professional massage therapist, also helped Jones by giving him hour-long massages twice a day to help with the soreness and performance.

Edited by Gabriela Cabrera and Mason Teague

Digging into your past may help to find long lost relatives

Change of Career leads to Relatives

Kendall Sienon, Staff Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Stuart Watson was once known as an investigative reporter digging into the lives of others. After an unexpected career change, Watson changed course and started digging into his own past creating a documentary as he goes. He tells his story and the journey of discovery to the Charlotte Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists.

Watson was adopted at 4 months of age to his current mother and father. Because of his experience as an investigative reporter, Watson knew he could obtain a “non-identifiable information” document on his birth parents.

In 2003, he received eight-single spaced pages full of information. Watson figured out that his birth father was a white, lawyer, from Atlanta. After further investigation he figured out his birth mother was from Augusta, G.A. and her name is Helen. After more research Watson got an address for his birth mother. He decided to send her a confidential, two-page letter simply saying “thank you” and to let her know how he turned out.

Watson heard back from Helen and went down to Georgia to meet her. He learned that his father’s name was Henry Scott Schmidt. He was a World War II vet wounded in action. Henry and Helen met at a mental hospital.

She was a nurse while he was a recovering alcoholic. Helen and Henry were remarried twice again and had 2 other children. Watson himself is an alcoholic in addition to his father and in addition to his two biological siblings. Today, Watson and his biological family have a great relationship. He realized that alcoholism and mental illness is hard to deal with.

Watson continues his efforts to finish the documentary on his life. He has great information and wants the story to be less about himself and more about Helen. Watson wishes he had more information on his biological father but hopes to discover more about his experiences. Stuart Watson’s journey has a bigger message and he hopes to display it through his documentary still untitled.

Edited by: Sara Gunter