Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Undocumented Journalist: Brian Williams of NBC News

In an effort to expose those working in the field without documentation, I will identify whether or not a journalist holds a degree in journalism or communications.

Why is this important?

It is important on two levels.

First, a formal education in journalism or communications lays the foundation for all work performed in the field. Lack of preparatory education in the field calls into question the validity of all work in the field, no matter how expansive and lauded that work may be.

Second, documented journalists have been taught in college to not only cover the who, what, where, when, why, and how of news, but they have also learned the reason why the Framers of the Constitution protected the press from the government in the First Amendment, and the role the press plays as the Fourth Estate by providing final checks and balances over the political process in the United States.

Journalist malpractice can thus be exposed through training or lack thereof.

Simply put, it is not a reporter's role to help the government succeed. It is not the job of the press to be the whore of an administration. It is not the job of a journalist to hold one political party more accountable than another. It is not the role of the press to become part of the news it covers.

It is the job of the press to objectively and ethically report the truth.
Brian Douglas Williams (born May 5, 1959) is the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News, the evening news program of the NBC television network.

After high school, Williams attended Brookdale Community College, before transferring to George Washington University, and then to The Catholic University of America. He did not graduate. Instead, Williams took an internship with the administration of President Jimmy Carter.

Williams was awarded an an honorary Doctor of Journalism degree from Ohio State University in 2008. However Williams is an undocumented journalist as he has not completed the required coursework to hold a degree in journalism or communications.

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