By Zoey Jones
Renegadepress.com has taught me many things. My work on the site has particularly taught me the importance of truth. Whether it’s speaking the truth so others are made aware of wrongdoing or the responsibility of truth - understanding and accepting that reporting stories means reporting the truth. The importance of researching and having accurate sources is key when taking stories to the public.
When I first started renegadepress.com with Jack I wanted to get as many stories out there as fast as I could. I was lucky that I had Jack by my side to help me keep my focus and remind me that I should spend my energies on one or two really good, well researched story vs. running around doing a half-informed job at reporting more stories. It’s really important to get the story straight – that is renegadepress.com’s mandate and as a key reporter, my job to make sure the story is not only honest and truthful but also totally accurate. Let’s face it, slander is a big problem and to be a good journalist means to be a responsible journalist. I learned really quickly that if you have accurate, well-researched sources, you can speak the truth and stay out of trouble – you just have to be sure to have the sources to back your story.
I remember what happened with Carmen when renegadepress.com first got started. I really empathize with her and I think any young journalist can understand how she got ahead of herself. Her mistake was a lesson that taught everyone at renegade the importance of being 100% confident in your sources before taking something public. Carmen’s mistake cost someone his job and cost her a lot of her credibility as a reporter. It was an honest mistake and a lesson none of us will soon forget.
There are a lot of big things going on around us. The things I see kids at my own school going through constantly shock me. I’ve made the commitment to help as much as I can to get the truth out there honestly and fairly. Sometimes I don’t like what I learn – with research I’ve often discovered things aren’t always what they seem. That’s the thing about responsible journalism though, you have to take the good with the bad and have the skills and commitment to dig through it all to discover the truth.
I’m not going to stop searching for the truth any time soon.