Those of you who have studied in the NYFA Broadcast Journalism program know we believe that journalism is different from most other professions. Journalists have special duties, special responsibilities.
Last week, an Assistant Attorney General in the state of Michigan spoke of the role of journalists in society.
“We as a society need investigative journalists more than ever,” Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis told the judge at the sentencing hearing of Larry Nassar, the long-time doctor for the U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Team.
Nassar, 54, admitted sexually assaulting athletes under the guise of medical treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians. Judge Rosemarie Aquilina sentenced him Wednesday to 40 to 175 years in prison in a case involving seven victims, and he faces sentencing next week in a neighboring Michigan county where he abused girls at a gymnastics club. He already had been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography.
The case began with a 2016 Indianapolis Star investigation of how USA Gymnastics handled sexual abuse allegations against coaches. That prompted former gymnast Rachael Denhollander to alert the newspaper to Nassar’s abuse. “After that article, I knew this was the time,” Denhollander told The Associated Press. “This is always what I knew had to be done … (and) I was 100 percent confident there were other victims speaking up and being silenced.”
This is why what we do is important.
It also points to the crucial role played by the Associated Press. They took a story that was reported by a regional newspaper, and distributed it to newspapers, TV stations, TV networks, cable news outlets, online platforms and radio stations across the United States as well as around the world. News agencies like the AP began in the 19th century, yet they still remain relevant today.
Last week I heard from one of our Brazilian graduates Laura Isern, who sent me an email, with an update on her career. Here is what she wrote:
Well, last year I was glad to tell you I was about to start working for Globo magazines … I’ve been through several tests and interviews, and surpassed 24 thousand other candidates. Now I’m one of the six journalism interns at Globo. In this internship program we’ll be going through all areas on audiovisual journalism and the skills you taught us will be very helpful! Thanks again for everything.
One of six individuals selected out of a total of 24,000 applicants … Now that’s impressive! Congratulations, Laura!
Staying with the Brazilian theme, I also heard from Brazilian NYFA alum Amanda Salvato. Amanda is based in New York now, and she is regularly covering New York Fashion Week events.
You can see her work on Amazon and AOL
In my memory, though, I still see Amanda at the New York Hilton Hotel on Election Night 2016, reporting on one of the most unexpected U.S. Presidential Election victories in history for our very own “NYFA News.” Great job, Amanda!