A video conference with Dan Rather and Tucker Carlson

Curiosity, determination and the ability to write is what makes a good journalist, according to Dan Rather.

“Curiosity is the bedrock of being a good reporter. Determination is very important because one has to stay with it and writing well and quickly is the bedrock of the craft,” says Rather, a American journalist and managing editor of his show Dan Rather Reports on the cable channel HDNet.

Rather, who was also a former anchor for the CBS Evening News, joined students participating from the George Mason University Video Studio,  along with Steve Scully, the political editor for the C-SPAN networks; and students from the University of Denver and Pace University.

Along with Rather, Tucker Carlson joined the session midway and spoke regarding the pros and cons of being a journalist in the online medium.

“What is wrong with online media? It’s young and it’s costly. It’s very expensive to send entourages to places all over the world and the money hasn’t yet shifted online,” says Carlson, an American political news correspondent and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller. “This is a transition period for the online medium.”

To Rather, online journalism represents a new wave of changing media, whether anyone wants it or not.

“Whether you like the Internet or not, it is already the dominant media. It is no good cursing the winds or the waves anymore,” Rather says. “In journalism, the old order is gone and the new one is not in place yet.”

However, Rather still wishes journalists would cover the iron core of true journalism.

“What is the iron core of journalism? Investigative journalism,” Rather says. “Even in the online medium, journalists need to expose corruption, make the calls, go door-to-door and find out what those in power don’t want the public to know. That is what true journalism is.”

George Mason University junior Stefanie Juvinel, who watched the program, has her own perspective regarding the discussion on online media.

“When it comes to online media, it is changing the world in a good way,” says Juvinel, a integrative studies major. “It has brought the news to the consumer so as consumers, we pick out what we want to know and think is important.”

The distance learning course, which is produced by C-SPAN, is a unique opportunity for students to interview guests via video conference. The course airs on C-SPAN3 on Fridays at 5 p.m. and also streams online.

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