Lessons Journalists Can Learn from Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart might have gotten his start in comedy, but his work on The Daily Show made him a trustworthy source for news. He became one of the most rational-sounding voices in television.

Stewart always kept some humor about the news and its analysis. He was also never afraid to take a tough stance when there was a clear line between right and wrong. His crew was never scared to satirize spin, belittle, bombast, and call out the blatant hypocrisy of politicians, journalists, or the average person on the street.

When Stewart was the face of The Daily Show, its website told people that the program had an anchor, five correspondents, and no credibility. It never pretended to have integrity or accuracy, but the information that the team provided always seemed to be closer to the truth.

The Best Lesson is to Stop Taking Yourself Seriously

A journalist is there to report the news. People don’t want opinions or thoughts. They want to know what is happening in their community, country, and the rest of the world.

That is only the first lesson. Here are a few more.

1. News is a Choice

A 24-hour news industry means that multiple networks have tons of information to find for people to consume. It is up to each person to choose what they want to see or hear.

2. You Don’t Need to Present Both Sides

Donald Trump is a polarizing figure because he attempts to cater to all sides while still trying to offer a moral foundation. There are some incidents when “very fine people” aren’t on both sides. Sometimes, no one falls into that category. Instead of trying to show everything, journalists can walk away from the idea of false balance.

3. Walk Away From the Commercialism

The people who pay the piper are the ones that dictate the message. Advertisers leverage their influence on news organizations all of the time by pulling their funding when a story or viewpoint comes out that they don’t like. If you want to focus on the news as a journalist, you can’t be in a position to be bought.

4. Honesty is Always the Best Policy

Being a journalist doesn’t mean that you try to make yourself look good. The goal is to convey a specific story to others that you care about in some way. When what you’re reporting on seems dull or boring, that message gets conveyed to everyone else.

Jon Stewart learned that sometimes you must stand up for what is right – no matter what the consequences are afterward. Today’s journalists should learn to do the same.

How Long Should My Introduction be for an Article?

The introductory paragraph of an article serves as your thesis statement. It is what hooks a reader to what you plan to convey in the body of the post to follow.

This basic understand can be applied to just about any creative work. From writing blog posts to copywriting for a brand like BrainMD and Integrative Therapeutics, where the brand needs to grab the reader’s attention so they capture the attention of the reader. This works best if you are clear, precise, and straightforward with your initial statement.

Be bold with your statement. Then support your argument with the rest of your content.

50 Words or Less as a Best Practice

The number of sentences found in your introduction is less important than its actual length. You should try to keep your presentation to about 50 words.

Placing that limitation on your writing forces your creativity into a place where you must be precise with your words. Fluff and fillers don’t belong in your thesis statement.

If you are writing a longer piece of literature, such as a novel or a 50-page research paper, your introduction will be more extensive because there is more information to cover. You might have the intro be a couple of pages in length.

Long papers still follow the 50-word rule when determining the overall thesis statement of the piece. Even novels adopt this rule.

Think about some of the iconic first lines in some books. 

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug. 

That piece from Little Women sets the stage for the rest of the story, drawing up the curtain of imagination’s stage to encourage the reader to keep going.

How to Write an Incredible Introduction

1. Grab the attention of the reader immediately. Use an anecdote, relevant quote, or a specific fact that startles the individual to keep reading.

2. Provide some background information for your thesis statement. It helps to offer some generalized content before being specific.

3. Be bold with your thesis statement. Arguments are meant to be controversial because that is how you cause an echo chamber to grow silent. Get as many of your main points as possible into the introduction.

4. An introduction that is too short is as problematic as one that is too long. You need to grab the reader’s attention, transition them to the rest of the text, and establish the theme of your narrative.

5. Learn and understand the ACE writing method. This will help you to form a more cohesive and factual article that will make going back and reviewing your introductory paragraph easier.

Writing has some generalized rules to follow, but it is essential to remember that some were meant to be broken. The introduction should be as long as it needs to be to convey information to others.

How Gonzo Journalism Informs and Engages the Public

Gonzo journalism is a form of reporting that never claims to offer objectivity. People who write in this area often use first-person narratives and opinions as a way to convey information to others. Hunter S. Thompson was the first to popularize this style, being the protagonist in the report while providing self-satire and social critique.

The goal of gonzo journalism is to offer a detached style using quotes and facts to relay data without the verification of third-party sources. Instead of using a strictly-edited report that sees multiple people making changes to it, Thompson used this method to create a personal approach. It is not uncommon to use exaggeration and profanity in a piece as a way to drive home a critical point.

Interestingly enough, it was a critique of Thompson’s work that led to this term. Editor Bill Cardoso of The Boston Globe called one of Hunter S. Thompson pieces about the Kentucky Derby as “pure gonzo journalism,” using the reference to describe the last man standing after drinking all night long.

Fiction is the Best Fact in Gonzo Journalism

Thompson always believed that journalistic objectivity was a myth. Everyone has a preference for specific stories or how to frame them. Instead of pretending that this perspective didn’t exist, he decided to embrace it with his writing style. It was a notion once made popular by William Faulkner, another writer who believed that fiction created the best facts.

Although Thompson’s iconic work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is seen as one of the best examples of gonzo journalism, he always thought of the work as a failure. Thompson wanted it to be an unedited work of his efforts, but it ended up going through five different revisions before going to publication.

Even when Thompson wrote columns and articles for local papers, he refused to go through the standardized editing process. He purposely submitted items late so that they couldn’t be edited before going to the printer.

The outcome of this work became the foundation of the webzine culture that developed in the late 1990s. One could even say that the “fake news” propagated on social media is derived from Thompson’s approach.

“Objective journalism is one of the main reasons American politics has been allowed to be so corrupt for so long,” Thompson once observed. He didn’t get any satisfaction from that view. His thought was that a writer should put themselves into each piece – so that’s what he did.

What Functions Do the Media Serve in Democratic Politics?

Even when post-communist countries embrace the idea of democracy, strict laws often prevent the media from reporting on political activities.

In Central America, the opposite issue occurs. A select group of powerful families owns most of the media in the region. Their approach to reporting can threaten the democratic governing gains that take shape.

Some countries have media that gets entirely controlled by the government. Then there are the platforms in the United States that have massive access and freedoms to report on almost anything.

What functions do the media service in democratic politics?

Media Does More Than Reporting the News

The media has a surprising amount of power in the Democratic process. Most people get their information from journalists than from any other resource. That means it shapes the way that people think and feel about the world.

In the American version of media, you can see organizations taking one political side over the other by slanting reports in one direction or the other. MSNBC tends to side on the side of liberalism, while Fox News is the typical standard-bearer for conservatism.

Media bias can be a significant issue, although the biggest complaints usually involve a liberal perspective on those with conservative views. 

The issue involves a misperception of the journalism type used to convey information. Four different options are available: partisan, objective, interpretive, and yellow.

It is not unusual to see a conflation of partisan journalism with the objective form.

Journalists cannot report on every possible news account. That means reporters and editors determine what items rise to newsworthy status. By choosing the stories presented to the public, an agenda of importance gets set that shapes public debate. This function is a form of signaling that can influence the government at the highest levels. 

William Randolph Hearst used his newspapers in the late 19th century to talk about how cruel the Spanish were with their colonial governing practices. When the USS Maine exploded mysteriously, the press blamed Spain for the issue. It would result in the start of the Spanish-American War in 1898.

The media sees their role in a Democracy as holding people accountable to their role in government. Reporters work to find the truth, expose hypocrisy, and keep things fair and balanced. That structure works if their own bias doesn’t come into play when presenting information to the public. 

Journalism Questions to Ask While Shadowing a Reporter

Journalism is more than the job of reporting the news. It also embraces the art of the interview.

The best journalists in the world are unafraid to ask tough questions. That means it is essential to perform research about individuals and subject material before going into an interview. 

If you are shadowing a reporter to learn this trade, then several essential questions are important to ask.

“What is a day like in this job?”

This question can give you more insight into what it is like to be a reporter. Although people see or read the final report, most don’t know how much downtime happens when gathering information. You need to be ready at a moment’s notice to report the news.

“Is the work what you thought it would be?”

It is essential to know if working as a reporter in real-life is the same as the expectations you have when shadowing. Talking to them about their experiences can help you to see if this work is something that you want to do.

“Do you enjoy working as a reporter?”

Most people will lie when answering this question because they don’t want to scare people away from a career. You don’t experience that issue as often in journalism. Reporting the news requires a fact-based approach. If someone can’t handle the truth when shadowing, then how can they ask tough questions at the right time?

“What classes would you recommend taking?”

This question is a crucial one to ask for anyone shadowing a reporter without an undergraduate degree. Knowing what classes to take can help you to pursue a major that can help you to break into journalism in the future. Some schools might only offer English, Literature, or Forensics options, which is why having an idea of how others broke through can help you to start planning.

“How did you get this job?”

Picking the brain of a reporter can get you some solid advice about how to apply for a job in the future. If you need contacts in the industry to get some interviews, then this time is the place to secure that information. 

You should also ask any follow-up questions to the answers received if you need more information. When you come into the shadowing process as prepared as a reporter should be in any situation, then you can discover if this job is the right one for you. 

How Journalists Adapted to Quarantine During COVID-19

As businesses shut down because of stay-at-home orders, essential workers were told to telecommute whenever possible. That meant many journalists could offer their reports without going into the field.

Will Reeve, a reporter from ABC News, offered a segment for the show Good Morning America in April, where he was caught not wearing any pants. He had a jacket and shirt on, but then a bare leg made it onto the national broadcast. At least Reeve could poke fun at himself on Twitter afterward.

Some reporters are still operating as they did before the COVID-19 pandemic because of their duties, supplementing their routines with products from brands like Metagenics, Perque, and Seeking Health

Even then, you will see some differences in how they report the news because of this pandemic.

1. Social Distancing

Journalists are now interviewing people by staying six feet away from them. You can also see reporters using Facetime, Zoom, and other video conferencing tools to gather information from sources instead of a face-to-face meeting.

2. Ingenuity

Teleprompters aren’t available today in the field because journalists are working solo instead of with a team. That means a piece of glass with a smartphone becomes a replacement option so that a reporter can see what needs to be said. Some are even put a blanket over themselves so that a voiceover piece can be recorded successfully.

3. Shift Rotation

Instead of sending one reporter to White House briefings, CNN implemented a schedule of rotating shifts to limit exposure risks. This approach is applied at local stations around the world whenever possible, keeping journalists away from the public unless there is no other way to gather the news.

4. Personal Protective Equipment

Journalists are wearing the same protective equipment that you can find first responders using – except for N95 respirators. Since reporters can find themselves interacting with others unexpectedly, they are almost forced to be in their PPE full time.

5. Storyboards

Some reporters are unable to gather the shots needed for a report. Sending someone out to film specific details can be challenging, which is why many are creating storyboards similar to what you’d see for movies and TV shows. This information makes it possible to have multiple people working on a project with a minimum number of people leaving home.

As lockdown orders end and quarantines become a distant memory, many of the innovations that journalists pioneered during this time will likely stay in place. Although you can’t replace a man-on-the-street interview, it is easier to do it on Skype.

Why Warm Weather Doesn’t Always Slow the Spread of a Virus

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus crippled the global economy. Countries like Italy, Spain, and the United States dealt with tens of thousands of deaths, hundreds of thousands of cases, and a lasting impact on families because of COVID-19.


When a pandemic develops, many people look to warmer weather as a way to have life get back to normal. Although many viruses operate on seasonal cycles, a widespread global event doesn’t behave in the same way.

COVID-19 Will Likely Become Endemic

Most experts think that the new coronavirus will become a seasonal event that will slowly get better as humans develop more immunity to it. Although there will always be risk factors to consider for vulnerable populations, the pandemic months of 2020 should be the worst that there are for this disease.

The same issue happened during the influenza outbreaks of 1918 and 1919, globally. Often referred to as the Spanish flu, it came in three waves to take up to 50 million lives during those 12 months it was active.

Now that the influenza virus is part of the regular seasonal cycle. COVID-19 will become part of that process. The question that we need to answer is whether the sensitivity of the virus to the seasons can influence its capacity to spread.

Related Coronaviruses are Already Seasonal

Coronaviruses are part of a family of enveloped viruses. When you look at them in a microscope, then you can see a lipid bilayer that looks like it is wearing an oily coat. Then proteins stick out of it like the points of a crown to encourage cell infections once it enters the body.

Although other coronaviruses are already seasonal and COVID-19 is about 90% similar to the 2003 SARS virus, the protein spikes in this new version seem wired to infect human cells easier. That’s why it is such an infectious disease. People can start spreading it for up to five days before any symptoms display – and some people don’t have any symptoms.

That’s why we need to be cautiously hopeful. Warm weather can slow the spread of a virus, but it isn’t a guarantee. You can still catch a case of influenza during the summer months. There’s nothing to suggest that the new coronavirus will be any different.

Warm weather can make the oily coat of the virus more susceptible to death before it can infect someone. Cold weather causes it to harden to a rubbery state for more resiliency. Until we know more about how COVID-19 behaves, we must assume that the virus will survive.

How Publishing Training Can Expand Career Opportunities

Publishing offers more avenues toward career development than ever before. 

Authors can use self-publishing resources to promote personal works, but they need help from trained professionals to complete that process.

You can publish materials online, through ebooks, opinion pieces, as whitepapers, or use traditional processes that have been around for centuries today. Some companies use all of those options to promote their brand and business.

The need for industry knowledge means that publishing training is essential in almost every corner of the economy. It’s a task that is no longer only for the junior staff in an organization.

How to Acquire More Training as a Professional

The traditional method of ongoing training takes one of two roads. You can either use the internal options that employers make available to their staff or use independent courses made available through independent institutions.

Most people use the first option because of the cost profile associated with publishing training. Entering a degree program or certification course can put someone back several hundred dollars.

For those who want to advance their career, a degree-granting program is usually the only choice available to them. With the job market unpredictable after the era of COVID-19, you need every credential possible to stay competitive.

Customized Programs Unlock New Opportunities

As the competitive market for publishing training continues growing, more customization in the programs and classes is easier to obtain. Employers are even discovering that online options can promote higher levels of productivity without compromising internal schedules.

You can even attend in-person training opportunities remotely by using tools like Zoom to interact with other class participants.

External training programs are not without their difficulties. The programs offered outside of the publishing world tend to provide generic information that you could find on the Internet if you spent a few days doing some research. The required cost to attend these events may not be worth what gets offered in the curriculum. 

Having a training course that’s well-presented or interesting doesn’t mean that you’re receiving useful information. Entrepreneurs have discovered this space for professionals, and they are working to exploit it in ways that aren’t always helpful.

If you want to expand your career opportunities at work, then consider asking your employer about the availability of publishing training. Even if you receive credit toward an outside program, it could be a decision that changes your life. 

Every Aspiring Journalist Should Practice the ACE Writing Method

Journalists have come under intense pressure from the Trump Administration for reporting what gets described as “fake news.”


Whether the attacks are justified or not is an observation that typically falls along party lines.

One of the ways that an aspiring journalist can counter these accusations is to practice the ACE writing method. When your sources can provide essential information that speaks the truth, then any charge of falsehood becomes irrelevant.

Here is what you need to know about the ACE writing method today.

A: Answer the Question

The ACE writing method requires journalists to provide a complete answer to any questions that get asked. Then you would use the keywords from the question in the answer to promote a specific thesis for the reader to contemplate. When you structure this step correctly, then you present a realistic claim that encourages everyone to look further into what you’re discussing.

C: Cite the Evidence from the Text

Research is your best friend as a journalist. You need to approach each assignment in the same manner that an attorney presents a case to the court. When you can cite precedent from previous stories or incidents, then the information provides validity to the claims offered in your account.

You must use clear and specific examples from your research that support your claim. Then the writing must describe, define, provide, and refer the particular details needed to suggest that the story you offer is real instead of fantasy, or a formal expression of opinion.

If you quote exact words or phrases from your research, then use quotations for that data. Then cite the location where you found the materials so that others can verify your work.

E: Explain the Connection

Once you lay out the evidence that supports the claim being made in your piece, aspiring journalists must explain the connection for readers. If you assume that people can connect-the-dots independently, then you leave the text open to interpretation – and that’s how you get accused of developing fake news.

Then use the ACE writing method to elaborate on the support you offer from the examples shared in the story. Each effort you make in this effort should answer the “why” questions that readers have after engaging with your work.

Once you use the ACE writing method to complete a story, it is essential to summarize all of the shared information into a concise conclusion. That action will help the reader relate to your initial thesis, creating a complete work that your publisher can appreciate. 

Here’s Why the Navy Ship USNS Comfort Deployed to NYC

Americans spend more on their military than the next nine countries in the Top 10 list of spenders in the world combined. During the era of COVID-19, that investment means the hospital ships that are part of the Navy fleet can deploy to help hospitals manage a crush of patients.

That’s why President Donald Trump ordered the USNS Comfort to deploy to New York City. As of April 10, 2020, New Yorkers had more recorded coronavirus infections than any other country in the world.

The USNS Comfort was initially deployed to take patients who weren’t dealing with COVID-19 symptoms. That mission changed when it became apparent that doctors and nurses needed more help on the front lines of battling this disease.

The Vessel Contains About 1,000 Beds for Service

With the arrival of the USNS Comfort in NYC, the hospital capacity for the city went up by about 1,000 beds. That relief valve was necessary because almost every institution in the city was operating at or over capacity with patients dealing with COVID-19.

The vessel also comes with 12 operating rooms, enabling more people to receive needed treatments when doctors and nurses have their attention focused on the pandemic.

The crew of the USNS Comfort is used to challenging circumstances. Its mission ranges from performing humanitarian tasks to supporting military operations.


It isn’t the first time that the vessel deployed to New York City. The crew was there in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center to provide respite and comfort to first responders.

How to Manage COVID-19 Symptoms

Because a coronavirus triggers flu-like symptoms, the best options for home care include a proactive approach to your health.

That’s why taking products from brands like Metagenics, Argentyn 23, and Integrative Therapeutics can be an essential part of your daily routine. When you eat right, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep at night, then this combination of choices can promote greater resiliency in your immune response to viral or bacterial infections.

If you experience a fever, coughing, or shortness of breath, then rest and push fluids. Should your breathing become labored, then speak with your doctor about going to the emergency room.

COVID-19 is problematic right now because it is a new virus. As our immune systems adapt to this new normal, life can start getting back to the way it used to be. The mission of the USNS Comfort is one step forward toward that future.