Throughout the majority of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, journalists have been at the forefront of the pivotal moments in history. Their ability to fairly document, process and share information affects all citizens regardless of race, gender, age, or creed. However, there has been a surprising shift in the way “the media” has changed journalistic integrity. As a broadcast journalist with over fifteen years of experience, Morgan Fogarty is dedicated to preserving her cherished profession – an undertaking that is certainly needed during this time.
The adrenaline rush from working in such as fast-paced and deadline-driven environment is what first attracted Morgan to broadcast journalism. After graduating from Pennsylvania State University, Morgan encountered one of the lesser-known pitfalls of the journalism industry. “I think the first obstacle for most journalists is, when you’re starting out in television news is that the pay is very bad, the hours are awful, and you have to go work in towns that nobody wants to work in because it’s so competitive.” She says of the experiences of journalism graduates. Young people often have to resort to working jobs they are not passionate about that may not even be true journalism.
However, she quickly found a fulfilling job and home in Charlotte, working for the local CW television network affiliate, WCCB. As a reporter, Morgan’s days consist of editorial meetings with her team members, everyone from producers to photographers is welcome. While discussing the day’s news and how it will be reported, she is intentional in making sure that there is space for diverse voices to be heard. “The editorial process is a creative group process. Everyone has a voice, and everyone has an opinion.” In a society dominated by old, rich, heterosexual white men, minority voices often become even more marginalized in the newsroom.
This inequality continues when the critical news is only broadcasted through one mouthpiece, especially one that is not necessarily working to accurately inform the individuals affected by sad news. Every day, Morgan and her team aim to “put together a well-rounded newscast that represents and reflects the community [they] serve,” a process that takes time and requires that everyone be a team player.
While some news reporters may strive to operate in such an admirable way, the larger channels that run twenty-four-hour news cycles have begun to somewhat take away from this deliberate and collaborative process. “They’re constantly looking for things to fill the twenty-four hours, whether it’s headline-worthy or not,” Morgan said. If these commentators are constantly searching for something to report, they do not have the necessary time to consider what they are reporting and why it should be shared – questions true journalists pride themselves on answering.
During this time when journalists are bogged down by compromising forces such as commentary masked as reporting, the twenty-four-hour news cycle, and of course, “fake news,” it’s refreshing to hear the perspective of a journalist who is actively working to create an honest, tangible change. Morgan is using her platform to reach back and create space for others to speak out. Her fight for marginalized voices in journalism and commitment to holistic reporting are both headlines worthy.