Woolworth museum honors protestors of injustice

by Marlena Chertock, February 14, 2010

Several pictures by Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Matthew Lewis, line an entire room in the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell.

History happens fast. Fifteen to 20 years after the Woolworth sit-ins, the lunch counter and store were integrated. Elon communications professor Anthony Hatcher, then a student of UNC Greensboro, sat down at the store in 1975, but now remembers the store without segregation.

“No doubt that the 1960s was a decade of change,” Hatcher said. “People don’t give the 1970s credit, with Watergate, the Vietnam War ending, but a lot of racial barriers were finally knocked down.”

The first exhibit in the International Civil Rights Center and Museum prepares visitors to enter the horrors and courage of the 1960s civil rights movement and beyond.

The exhibit begins with a sign that states the constitutional right, “All men are created equal.” Behind the statement, signs announcing “white only” and “no colored allowed” light up, signifying the dissonance between alleged inalienable rights and the reality of early America. The museum opened on Feb. 1, and guided tours are currently in place.

The Gala and Banquet, originally scheduled for Jan. 30, has been rescheduled because of inclement weather. It will take place Feb. 13 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C. from 7-9 p.m. Tickets are $100 and can be ordered from http://www.sitinmovement.org or at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

Assistant account executive for RLS Communication RoKeya Worthy, said an estimated 3,000 people attended the grand opening events for the museum.

Visitors wait for the museum’s guided tour beside the famous photograph of the four N.C. A&T University students, Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair Jr. and David Richmond. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell.

“It was good, considering the weather,” Worthy said. “Everybody was so excited. It was almost like inauguration all over again. Being there to see a historic event.”

Worthy said there was considerable national media coverage. There was a lot of media coverage for the event including CBS Today, NBC Nightly News, Diane Sawyer, ABC, CNN and the New York Times.

“At one point, (the tour guide) was talking about the Birmingham church bombings,” Ann Morris, a visitor, said. “She pointed at my child, saying the girls who were killed were not older than her. It really brings it close to home.”

A younger visitor described what was most significant to her.

“The two-sided Coke machine,” Gracie Anderson said. “One side was for African-Americans and one side was for white people. They could not use the same side.”

As visitor, Thomas Hay, exited the museum, he described the era as a trying time. He participated in demonstrations in Maryland when he was younger. Hay said the most powerful exhibit to him was the re-enactment of the original four Greensboro non-violent protestors, Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair Jr. and David Richmond.

“The idea where they were going to challenge the system, challenge something they saw wrong is so impactful,” Hay said.

Worthy describes one exhibit, the Hall of Fame, in detail. She uses words such as “intense” and “graphic” to give a better picture. Children are not recommended to go through that part of the museum.

“(It is) a heart-wrenching exhibit. Right in your face, tough to look at,” Worthy said.

The exhibit shows what happened to the people who stood up for their rights, such as church bombings, murders or high-pressure hoses being turned on marchers. The effects were devastating, Worthy said.

The ending image is one of Emmett Till, a black 14-year-old brutally murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for allegedly whistling at a white woman.

The last exhibit meshes numerous photographs of faces from the civil rights movement. As one backs away from the smaller pictures, the faces create a larger picture of President Barack Obama with a statement when he was a senator about overcoming barriers. Photographs in the room depict non-violent protests around the world. The museum comes full circle, illustrating how the struggle for human rights internationally continues.

This exhibit, named “The Civil Rights Movement Through the Lens of Pulitzer-Winning Photographer Mathew Lewis,” captures several moments of the social movement. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell.

Curatorial Program Associate Lolita Watkins said the original men from N.C. A&T University, who conducted the first sit-in, visit the museum all the time.

“They’ve been back since the effort started 17 years ago,” Watkins said. “They were here on Monday, Feb. 1.”

McCain, McNeil and Blair Jr. attended the museum’s opening events.

“They were overcome, joyful, proud and energized in terms of hoping we will have people walk in their footsteps and strive to achieve to make America a better place,” Watkins said.

Increase of depression nationwide, Elon rates remain the same

Graphic by Sarah Costello.

Some people call it the silent killer. Depression has recently increased in college-aged students across the country, but the depression rates at Elon have not dramatically increased.

According to a study published in USA Today the amount of college students with hypomania, “a measure of anxiety and unrealistic optimism,” has risen from 5 percent of students in 1938 to 31 percent in 2007. The amount of students with depression has increased from 1 percent in 1938 to 6 percent in 2007.

The World Health Organization defines depression as a common mental disorder characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration.

The national trend cites students in 2007 were five times more likely to “surpass thresholds in one or more mental health categories” than students in 1938. This trend is not as evident at Elon.

Elon counselor Chris Troxler said between 60-70 percent of students come into the health and counseling services for anxiety or stress related issues. In a year, 35-40 percent of students come in for depression.

“We see probably around 500 students in a year,” Troxler said. “Frequently, if you’re anxious enough, you get depressed. In some ways it’s a bit of a continuum. Untreated anxiety can turn into depression.”

When Troxler began working at the Elon Health and Counseling Services Center in 2001, 5 percent of the student body came in. By the 2009-2010 school year, that percentage had doubled to 11 percent.

Troxler said there hasn’t been a dramatic increase during the last 10 years in the cases of depression at Elon. There have been more cases, but not a drastic increase.

“So many things are radically different now than in 1938,” Troxler said. “A relatively small percentage of people went to college then. There were no coed dorms, very few coed colleges, segregation was in effect. The flow of information was much slower and relationships developed in a different manner. There are many reasons why the numbers of depressed students have grown nationally in recent history.”

Elon has become more competitive, and students have higher achievements, class rank and SAT scores.

“The current student body is under more pressure both to get in here and do well here, which creates some background level of stress,” Troxler said.

Additionally, alcohol and drug use can have an impact on anxiety and depression. Troxler said the use of alcohol and drugs to deal with stress is inappropriate and ineffective. In 1938, most colleges did not have counseling services. It was at the early stages of the counseling service movement.

“The attitude was to suck it up and muddle through,” Troxler said. “Now everybody knows you can get help, and people are choosing to do that.”

The number of students with pre-existing mental health issues has risen to 17 percent for the current freshman class, compared to 6 percent of the incoming freshman class in 2000, Troxler said.

“These students as a group are more likely to come back as sophomores than the rest of the class,” Troxler said. “People who have gone through difficulties and dealt with their problems seem to be more able to cope with the stress of going to college.”

Elon offers many options to relieve stress. The Elon Health and Counseling services recommend many of these activities as a way to reduce stress.

“There is meditation, yoga classes, exercise, the Truitt Center often offers activities, like ballroom dancing and service projects,” Troxler said. “To get your mind off your own troubles and focus on somebody else’s can be very therapeutic.”

OPINION: Consequences of interference

Questioning the heart of journalistic altruism

by Marlena Chertock, February 2, 2010

A journalist covering a story about an insane asylum witnesses a male patient escape. Should he stop him? A fundamental rule of journalism prohibits interference.

Journalists are taught to keep a separation from sources, to not befriend them or become emotionally attached to those they cover. This constitutes a conflict of interest. Physically intervening in a story is also strictly off-limits.

When Anderson Cooper came to visit Elon last year, no one could predict he would be traveling to Haiti in 2010 to cover a devastating earthquake, reporting in the throes of looting and dangerous riots.

Continue reading OPINION: Consequences of interference

Commemorating the courage of four

Museum in Woolworth Building to open on 50th anniversary of Greensboro Four sit-ins

by Marlena Chertock, January 20, 2010
The International Civil Rights Museum, located in the 1929 F.W. Woolworth Building in Greensboro, is scheduled to open on Feb. 1,. The museum covers 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, including the exact lunch counter from the Greensboro sit-ins. Photo by Molly Carey.
Fifty years ago, four black college students joined together to fight discrimination and pervasive injustice in the American South. On Feb. 1, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum opens in the Woolworth building where the Greensboro sit-ins took place.The opening will mark the 50th anniversary of the Greensboro Four sit-ins. Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil, Ezell Blair Jr. and David Richmond sat at the Woolworth building five-and-dime lunch counter on Feb. 1, 1960 to conduct a form of nonviolent civil disobedience.

North Carolina state legislator Earl Jones said plans for the museum have been in the making for 15 years. “When we first decided to turn the Woolworth building into a museum, we looked at the Memphis, (Tenn.) and the Birmingham, (Ala.) museum,” he said. “In Memphis it took 12 years and Alabama took 14 years. Our schedule was 12-14 years based on that,” he said.

When retail was declining for the Woolworth building, the owners decided to close the store. It was going to turn into a parking lot. “That’s where Skip and I got together and said we need to save it,” Jones said.

Jones and Guildford County Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin “Skip” Alston founded the Sit-in Movement in 1993 with the sole purpose of renovating and turning the historic site into a civil rights museum.

The Woolworth owners, First Citizen’s Bank, gave the Sit-in Movement its first seed money of $50,000. “They were very supportive, giving us the initial seed money,” Jones said.

“I’ve always said this building in Greensboro and North Carolina, when those four students sat down, it was a new strategy for civil disobedience, to fight oppression, not only in America, which was racial oppression, but throughout the world. And it spread. Sitting down as a strategy had never been done before,” Jones said.

He refers to the civil disobedience strategy used in South Africa, the Philippines, when the Berlin Wall came down in Germany and the students in Tiananmen Square. “These events used the same type of civil disobedience philosophy, emulated again from Greensboro,” he said.

The international aspect of the museum is incredibly important. Several exhibits will have impact on the international level. The museum will be important to North Carolina and the nation, “but more importantly to the world,” Jones said.

Jones said he sees the museum as having an impact on the future relations of human rights throughout the world. “Human rights internationally and civil rights nationally are synonymous to each other,” he said.

Jones also explains the importance of the museum becoming a center for the public to get involved. He wants the museum to be a place where people can come together and resolve social issues of the day.

“This is going to be different from civil rights museums in Memphis or Alabama because this museum will be an active museum versus a passive one,” he said. “There will be forums, workshops, various seminars, dialogues and discussions regarding major social issues of the day. We’re not going to take positions and be advocates.”

Jones first became a social activist after the Ku Klux Klan assassinated five union workers in Greensboro on Nov. 3, 1979.

“They were social activists who worked on behalf of workers in manufacturing plants in the county,” he said.

Jones attended his first NAACP meeting a week after the incident. The then  president of the Greensboro chapter of NAACP, Dr. George Simkins, appointed Jones to be the legal counsel.

Aleasha Vuncannon, an RLF Communications media contact, said McCain, McNeil and Blair Jr. will be in attendance at the majority of the museum opening events. Vuncannon said the three will attend the museum’s opening. Richmond died in 1990 of lung cancer.

There are several opening events. They include a Town Hall Forum from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28 at A&T University’s Alumni Center. The forum, hosted by the Emmy award-winning journalist Ed Gordon, will focus on 21st century activism and protest. The event is co-sponsored by N.C. A&T State University and Bennett College, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Dr. Benjamin Chavis and Bennet College President Dr. Julianne Malveaux. This event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required due to limited seating. Tickets can be acquired at the museum office phone number 274-9199.

The 50th anniversary Gala and Banquet will take place from 7 – 9 p.m. on Jan. 30 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro. This annual banquet recognizes international civil and human rights achievements by people throughout the world. Nido Qubein, President of High Point University, will host the gala and banquet.  Tickets are $100 and can be bought at www.sitinmovement.org or the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro.

A Celebration of Unity Ecumenical service will be held from 6-8 p.m. on Sunday, Jan. 31 at the Greensboro  Coliseum. This service is free and open to the public. Grammy award-winning and contemporary gospel singer Yolanda Adams, Pastor Dr. Jamal-Harrison Bryant and Rev. Samuel “Billy” Kyles will lead the event.

Grand opening ceremonies at the site of the historic Woolworth sit-ins will start at 8 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 1. There will be a ribbon cutting ceremony. Museum prices are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and students, and $4 for children over six.

Once the museum opens, there will be several reenactments such as the lunchcounter sit-ins and a reproduction of the dorm room where the Greensboro Four discussed their plans. Vuncannon said the centerpiece of the museum, the lunch counter stools, have been restored to their 1960 look.

The heart behind the lens

by Marlena Chertock, December 1, 2009

Do we have the power to create good in this world? Photojournalist Dave Labelle believes so.

On Nov. 18 Labelle came to Elon to speak about his professional journeys. The first half of the speech was mostly techniques, guidelines and how to improve photographs. Labelle suggested a few minutes of break before he set in on the next part. He needed that time to truly switch gears.

Labelle explained why he became a photojournalist and why he and his family have been on the road since early September.

“I believe good begets good,” he said.

Continue reading The heart behind the lens

Boys and Girls club provides home away from home

by Marlena Chertock, November 18, 2009

Program Director Xylda Gee tutors Josh, a fourth-grade student at the Boys and Girls Club. Photo by Lauren Ramsdell.

Several elementary and middle school children scribble away at their homework. Some shift in their seats, while others draw pictures on their papers instead of completing their math problems. After a few minutes of restfulness, one child cracks a joke and the entire room bursts out in laughter.

This is a typical Thursday afternoon for Xylda Gee, or as the kids call her, Mrs. Gee. Gee is the program director at the Burlington Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club. She is one of the three full-time staff members at the club.

The Boys and Girls Club has been around since the mid-1950s, Executive Director Sherri Henderson said. The building in Burlington was constructed in 1979.

The club acts as an after school care program for children in the community. Salvation Army buses pick up children from 11 elementary and middle schools in the surrounding area, Monday through Friday from 2:30 – 6 p.m. The club takes care of high school-age children as well, though it does not have a pickup program in place for them.

Gee has worked at the Boys and Girls Club for almost 15 years, long enough to have seen many of the children she works with grow up.

“I’ve always enjoyed working with children,” she said.

Gee said the best part of working at the club is getting to know the children, seeing them excel and “being a part of their lives as they grow up.”

“They’re so proud when they do good,” Gee said. “They want you to see that. Awards they win in school, they want you to be there for. Birthdays, they want you to come.”

Gee is a living paradigm of the club’s mission statement: “To inspire and enable all young people, especially those that need us the most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.”

She said the children truly need the club and its members.

When the children have functions at their schools, Gee said many glance around with looks on their faces asking, “Where’s my grandma?”

“We try to remedy that kind of feeling,” Gee said. “We try to be there for the parents. I know what it’s like to be a working parent. There’s so much you can miss.”

An ad in the paper asking for help drew Gee’s attention to the club.

“I was a bookkeeper,” she said. “I don’t like sitting behind a desk.”

Gee said she needs to be on her toes, always expecting something new the kids might cook up.

“At least days are never the same,” Gee said of working at the club.

The Boys and Girls Club only has three full-time staff members and relies mostly on outside volunteers.

Many Elon students volunteer at the club for work study programs or simply to help out.

“We couldn’t do the program without Elon,” Gee said.

But running a program on a volunteer basis can be unreliable. The number of volunteers that come in daily can vary. There is no concrete list of volunteers who are always available, and Gee said the club needs more assistance.

Henderson said there needs to be more advertisements around Alamance County to “let the people in Burlington, Gibsonville (and) Elon know what we’re doing.”
Gee agreed, saying non-profit organizations often have a difficult time securing funding.

BioBus proposal prompts discussion

by Marlena Chertock, November 3, 2009

As senior Dan Miller promised in his Facebook group “Late Night BIOBUS,” he has written a proposal and met with members of the administration to talk about possibly extending the time the BioBus would run into the night.

So far, more than 1,000 Elon students have joined the group, which aims to improve student life and safety through nightly BioBus transportation.

“Essentially, 1,000-plus students supported this idea without any means of advertising other than word-of-mouth,” Miller said. “That is nearly 20 percent of the student body of Elon.”

He said this is proof a late night BioBus “will be used to its full potential.”

“Last year, SafeRides had 12,139 requests for transport. Only 64 percent (7,844) of callers were actually transported,” Miller’s proposal said. “The remaining 35.38 percent chose not to pursue that destination, or decided to walk or drive themselves to where they needed to go. One must also take into consideration those who chose not to even call SafeRides because they knew the wait was too long.”

Miller said he believes the solution would be to run the BioBus from 10:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., in addition to SafeRides and E-rides. He is suggesting a one-month trial period of the BioBuses at night.

Senior Kimberly Duggins, director of SafeRides, said she hopes instead of competing with a possible late-night BioBus, the programs could work together to help solve the issue of drunk driving on campus and to help keep the community safe.

She said she doesn’t see the implementation of a late night Biobus having any negative effects on SafeRides.

“We will still be here for students when they need a ride home, and that’s not going to change,” she said.

Miller said the goal of the Late Night BioBus is simply to support SafeRides and E-rides by providing more service to more students.

But there are some challenges that might come with running the BioBuses at night. Miller said potential issues could be bus cleanliness, drinking on the bus, transporting intoxicated underage students and funding.

He has tried to address these issues by coming up with potential solutions, such as having trashcans on the bus, forming a cleanup crew to work after 2:30 a.m. and prohibiting open containers on the bus.

He also suggested charging students $1 to ride the bus so a profit can be made.

But, these proposed suggestions have not yet been decided upon.

Last week, Miller had a meeting with key Elon figures such as Smith Jackson, vice president and dean of student life, Keith Dimont, director of automotive services, Justin Peterson, Student Government Association president, Duggins and others to discuss the proposal’s feasibility.

“We had one meeting, but a really good meeting,” Jackson said. “(Miller) made his presentation. No decisions were made. This was more of a listening, framing the question (meeting).”

Jackson said the administration would continue to look at the issue of student safety after 7 p.m., when the BioBuses stop running.

“We didn’t make any firm decisions,” Jackson said. “We might do some of (the proposal) or we might not. There are no clear timelines.”

Extensive planning, discussion and logistics need ironed out before they can try even a test-run of the system, he said.

“I think it’s a logical plan that the university should consider if one of its priorities is the safety of its students,” Duggins said. “However, I’m not sure that we’ll see the BioBus late at night just yet. There are numerous obstacles that must be overcome before a proposal like this takes place.”

She said Miller raised an important issue about the university needing to do more to provide transportation either through a BioBus or by further supporting SafeRides.

Jackson said he wasn’t aware SafeRides did not have enough manpower or efficiency to transport all of the students who call in.

“We have a (new) 15-passenger vehicle right now, with six wheels,” Jackson said.

He said volunteers would need to go through training to drive bigger vehicles if they will be used. Currently, SafeRide’s only performs a license check.

Jackson said he may confer with the SGA to turn over more student opinion on the issue.

“Peterson said he thinks SGA would want to help with this,” Jackson said. “I suggested we do a student referendum.”

Jackson said it’s up to students to decide how they want to spend their SGA money and fund such an effort.

Riding to hit the bottle

The implications of nighttime BioBuses

by Marlena Chertock, October 13, 2009

Let’s be honest. On the weekends, many intoxicated students roam the campus, walking or driving to and from various parties. Some walk home alone, putting themselves at risk. Others choose to catch a ride with their friends, thus engaging in drunk driving. Students have opened their inboxes to find  warnings from Vice President and Dean of Student Life Smith Jackson about accidents caused by drinking.

Should Elon come to terms with reality and try to change these habits? Is it the university’s responsibility to ensure party-goers’ safe return home?
Safe Rides and E-Rides were created for this very reason. Both services provide nightly rides to students for free.

But are these services enough? Not according to senior Dan Miller, who has recently created a Facebook group entitled, “Late night BIOBUS!”

Miller is proposing one of three phases, as he called it. He is currently writing up a formal proposal, to be finished once the Facebook group reaches 500 people, along with a petition. As of press time, the group has already reached more than 900 members.

Junior Katie Metts is working toward the same goal by trying to make BioBus routes more beneficial. For example, she proposes adding another stop at the Koury Business Center to the Trollinger route.

Phase 1: Add BioBus service late at night with a few stops. This can help with the safety and convenience of students. Have the buses run 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. This would take the load off of E-Rides and Safe Rides.

Phase 2: Reverse the roles of the BioBus and Safe Rides. Have the BioBus at night and the van and two sedans in the morning, as a call-request sort of setup.

Phase 3: Keep the BioBus during the day, add it at night and get rid of E-Rides and Safe Rides.
Miller feels that Phase 1 has the fewest problems.

“I asked one of the drivers at the peak throughout the day how many students are on the (BioBus). He said seven. The buses can hold 30 to 50 people,” Miller said.

He believes students choose not to ride the BioBuses because the stops are infrequent, are 20 minutes apart and there is no straight-shot back to campus.

“It feels like a waste of time to wait … it’s almost better to walk,” he said.

For the nightly van services “there is a huge demand and not enough supply … usually the wait is between 20 minutes to over an hour,” Miller said.

One of the reasons for this wait is the call-request model the nighttime services provide.

“Students move around a lot, cancel … it takes a lot of manpower versus having one bus,” he said.

Is the issue at stake safety versus reputation?

“There are a lot of intoxicated students walking around the streets at night in low-lit places,” Miller said. “If safety is one of the number one factors, (implementing these plans) would increase safety. It’s very tempting to just drive home. We don’t want to promote that. That’s worse than a bus of drunk people.”

Miller makes a good point, but is it up to Elon to ensure the safety of drunken students? It’s a person’s own responsibility to stay safe. These students would be taking advantage of the university, getting a form of special treatment as a result of the choices they are making.

The rest of the population, and those who choose not to drink, shouldn’t have to suffer because of those who do. The buses would possibly become rowdy and hazardous. This may mean hiring additional security and police staff, which could be costly.

The nightly vans that Safe Rides and E-Rides provide are voluntary. Elon should not be endorsing this sort of behavior, which would be a side effect of using BioBuses at night to transport drunken students wherever they need to go.

What Elon has to keep in mind when making a decision about BioBuses at night or keeping the current system as is, is whether or not it would promote safety or make the school look like a clown. What would benefit the most students is one way to decide. Upholding the school’s alcohol policy is the other.

The media’s trustbusters

Partisanship, scandal run perception aground

by Marlena Chertock, September 22, 2009

The Pew Research Center has found the public’s trust in the accuracy of news stories to be at a 20 year low.

But in an age when more students are going into the field of journalism and communications, according to an article by the Washington Post, and with new methods to deliver information, why should there be such lack a of trust?

“Our survey shows that the public views of the accuracy of news stories — not overall trust in the press — is at a two decade low,” said Carroll Doherty, associate director of the Pew research center. “The proportion saying that news stories are often inaccurate has been below 40 percent for quite some time and now stands below 30 percent.”

David Copeland, associate professor of communications, said he is not surprised by the findings.

“The media has become the scapegoat for everything,” Copeland said.

This runs counter to the journalistic ideals of truth, accuracy, impartiality and reliability. The core journalistic ethics are to remain objective, give all sides a fair presentation and report only the truth.

But obviously, not everybody agrees with this. Changes in the past two decades have acted as catalysts for this loss of trust in the press.

“In the 24-hour news cycle, the rush to be the first one to get the information, the story out, (journalists) don’t always verify information,” Copeland said.

Doherty echoes this.

“As we note in the report, more Democrats now question the accuracy of news stories, which factored into some of the decline between 2007 and 2009,” Doherty said. “Moreover, there is considerable public frustration with the press’ performance — and this is seen in declining views of accuracy and other measures.”

Journalists Jayson Blair and Stephen Glass’ fabrications of portions of stories also contributed to this frustration.

Additionally, the media is increasingly driven by entertainment.

“Even in 9/11 reporting, (there was) the need for a logo for news, for a music theme, to package as entertainment. (This makes people) start to question if it’s true or not,” Copeland said.

When everything is shown in an entertaining way, the result is a media that is not as accurate as it would like to be. This focus on entertainment value instead of quality journalism, in turn, affects the public’s trust.

“There is greater polarization in news audiences — especially for cable news outlets — and as our report shows, there are sizable partisan divisions in favorable opinions of cable news outlets,” Doherty said. “There also is more scrutiny generally of press performance — some of this probably has been positive in that it cast light on errors … but some of the criticism clearly is rooted in partisanship.”

Copeland said there used to be a collective voice.

“Years ago, 50 to 75 million people watched the nightly news,” Copeland said. “Twenty-five million watch it today. (America) used to get news collectively, when we get news fragmented, it helps us to perceive that there’s error and bias in what we’re receiving.”

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“The public’s dim view of press performance has not caused more people to turn away from the news entirely,” Doherty said.

Audiences instead access a variety of news sources, not just one.

This is an important change, and instead of merely accepting the bias, the public must research, and reflect to find the most trustworthy media sources on ethical merits.

There is still hope the media can regain the public’s trust, despite Copeland’s reticence to look to the future with optimism.

For the media, admitting mistakes is the first step. The next is persisting with dignity and the journalist’s code of ethics, and hoping that the public catches on.