Chris Samuels

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As reporters, our primary obligation is to convey a story to the general public and understand the meaning behind an event or topic. I think as an “outsider,” it was an interesting challenge to try to immerse in the topic and understand it well enough to write about it. I was able to gain an understanding of how the state government works in terms of art and culture, and develop a better sense of community as I reported on it. I think in most stories that we do, we start as “outsiders” and move to become “insiders,” if we aren’t already.

But here’s my question: how do journalists find their stories in the first place? This ties into the previous question of being an “outsider” or “insider.” I have a hard time answering questions about journalistic integrity and being “objective.” To me, it’s one thing to have an unfair influence on promoting something, rather than reporting facts. Journalists have had this traditional look of being apathetic, unbiased and completely separated from the normal doings and happenings of the public. I had that outlook at the start of my career at the school newspaper, trying to separate being a journalist and doing all the other things I loved doing. I am very involved in school, and noticed it was a challenge for writers and editors who were not involved at all to find stories that were relevant to the student body. How can journalists understand an issue completely if they aren’t immersed in it to a degree? How can they appreciate a story or find empathy and understanding with their readers if they don’t have those experiences themselves? I think the rules of objectivity need to be tweaked, because in this day and age, we all are involved with something important to us, and maybe only we can tell the story about it.

ABOUT ME:

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Photo by Sammy Jo Hester, Provo Daily Herald.

Originally from New Jersey, Chris is a student at the University of Utah studying communication and international studies. He loves attending the U, and has been involved with numerous activities on campus, including fraternity life, student government and community volunteering. Chris is the photo editor for the campus newspaper, the Daily Utah Chronicle. Chris enjoys skiing, tennis, golf, pulled pork sandwiches, bagels and milkshakes. Chris has been at the Deseret News since May 2015 as a member of the photojournalism staff. He wrote for Voices of Utah for the Spring 2016 semester.