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鶹ýAV Podcast
Why Is the News 'Broken'? Can It Be Fixed?
鶹ýAV Podcast

Why Is the News 'Broken'? Can It Be Fixed?

Confidence in the media to report the news accurately has fallen over the past several decades. Mosheh Oinounou, founder of Mo News, and Jill Wagner, managing editor at Mo News, join the podcast to discuss how the currents of social media and politics have shaped the media climate, and the challenges the industry now faces to regain public trust.

 
 
 

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Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio is posted above.

Mohamed Younis 00:11
For 鶹ýAV, I’m Mohamed Younis, and this is The 鶹ýAV Podcast. This week, we welcome two news heavyweights to tackle our latest on trust in news and focus on the why behind the collapse in public confidence in news organizations. Mosheh Oinounou is an award-winning executive producer and now the founder of Mo News. Jill Wagner is an Emmy and Murrow award-winning journalist and is managing editor at Mo News. Mo and Jill, welcome to the podcast!
 
Mosheh Oinounou 00:40
Great to be here, Mo.
 
Jill Wagner 00:41
Thanks for having us.
 
Mohamed Younis 00:42
One of the things I loved about the Mo News website was that you literally said on there, you say on there, “The news is broken. Help us fix it!” Americans actually agree with you guys that it's broken, and right now, less than 20% express any level of confidence in either TV news or newspapers. My question to you both -- and Mo, I'll start with you -- what broke the news in America? Why are people so down on the news?
 
Mosheh Oinounou 01:07
The answer here is complicated, and there's multiple factors here. I think if you look over the course of the past couple of decades, and your numbers certainly show this, there's been a, a loss of trust in a number of institutions, right -- across the federal government, business. You know, you could go to the dot-com collapse; you could go to 9/11; you could go to the failure in Iraq; you could go to Katrina; you could go to the financial collapse in ‘08-‘09. You could go to, you know, most recently, you know, revelations about the FBI, the CDC, the FDA, I mean, the alphabet soup of organizations; Supreme Court, most recently. And you see this loss.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 01:42
Now, what is media-specific here? A few things. One, social media -- for good and for bad. That has led to a level of transparency about news and information that didn't exist before, when it was in the hands of three networks and a couple newspapers. You can now see all the freckles, all the flaws, all the screw- ups -- some intentional, some just neglect -- in the media. And so you have the rise of social media; you have that level of transparency; and I think that has unveiled some things. On top of that, we're in an era where it's open warfare. And I don't want to put too much blame on the politicians here; the media certainly has responsibility here. But open warfare on the media, right? We live in the era of, I don't like that story; it's fake news. Fake news, fake news. Now, some legitimately; some totally illegitimate. So social media is one; politicians, two. And then the consumer has become very savvy in the information they want to get, and they have very high expectations. And then No. 4, societal trends. Jill, fill in the gaps here. I mean, I, I think those are the couple of the top lines, when I think about why people have, have lost trust.
 
Mohamed Younis 02:47
Yeah, and Jill, I would also love for you to focus on the, on the savviness of the consumer. Because I feel like that’s also a really understated aspect of this. But yeah, what’s your answer? How did we break the news, Jill?
 
Jill Wagner 02:58
I think Mosh hit a lot of it, and I, I agree with him in that it's not just one thing. When I was thinking about coming on this podcast, started to really think about the 2016 election and, and I think the media having written off Donald Trump as a candidate, I think that that lost a lot of viewers and a lot of audience. I think that that lost a lot of their trust, because it just showed how out of touch the media in general -- and I use that as this overarching term -- how out of touch the media was, with just mainstream, the pulse of mainstream Americans outside of the coasts. That alone, though, is fixable. Newsrooms could have easily fixed that.
 
Jill Wagner 03:40
The problem is it came at a time when, when it was not just, just the 2016 election. It was so many different things like social media, where conspiracies get air time; where there really is fake news; where you actually have foreign countries doing disinformation campaigns, putting out fake news. And it is hard to decipher what's true and what's not. And unfortunately, it comes at a time when newsrooms are getting decimated. There are fewer journalists out there, real journalists doing quality news, putting the time in, breaking news, spending days on a story. So, unfortunately, I think it has been a perfect storm.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 04:24
I think Jill got to a really important point there, and that's something we can't forget. One of the other things people can't forget about is news is a business. And the rise of the internet led to an existential crisis for many media organizations. I mean, literally in the headlines this week, you see the, the sale of the San Diego Union-Tribune to Alden, a, a hedge fund. I mean, and you see this decimation of local news in the country that never quite adapted to the internet, because, as your listeners might know, the majority of revenue for newspapers, going back decades, was classified ads. Well, that changed pretty quickly with Craigslist, etc. And they never quite filled the gap there. They gave away their news for free a bunch online. They didn't take the internet seriously enough, quick enough; sort of what happened to the music industry initially, going into iTunes, happened to the news industry. So what happens? Well, the news is more desperate for your clicks, more desperate for your attention. So now they're getting sensational with their headlines. I mean, when we talk about broken news, one of the things that broke the news was breaking news. Everything is breaking news, everything is breaking all the time. Break, break, break. Well, when you have that much breaking news, you break things, and you broke the news, and people don't take it seriously.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 05:33
So you have this business situation where they're desperate for your eyeballs; they're desperate for your clicks. And then the, the social media environment incentivized the news organizations to get the clickiest headline out there. And guess what? The savvy consumer that we just talked about clicks on that headline; realizes that what you sold them was a bag of goods, because in the fifth paragraph, you admitted that whatever you said in the headline isn't really the case. And so the media, you know, this is the, again, you know, to, Jill just said -- this perfect storm of issues: the business, the, the savviness, the social media, all of this combined, and you've seen this collapse.
 
Mohamed Younis 06:07
Yeah, and it's also a time when, just like you mentioned about business, one of the things about institutions in America is not technically an institution, but the one institution that really has held on is small business. The institution that has probably suffered more than any others is big business. And the more big business is involved with news, and there's news about organizations buying news outlets -- we've all seen, of course, what's been happening at CNN; it's been really fascinating to watch -- it's not hard to see how the public starts to draw these lines that are not really that dotted anymore.
 
Mohamed Younis 06:42
What's fascinating to me also is the intelligence and the savviness of the consumer. I really feel like a lot of our focus has been about what news organizations are doing and not so much on the reality that, just as a news consumer, we have so many more options now. And people are so good -- like you said, Mo -- at, like, finding whether or not this place is really delivering on its headlines or is this really just to get me to click. And then it's like, what was that about? I have no idea where I am right now.
 
Mohamed Younis 07:11
I also wanted to point out, though, that it's not just partisan slant. Like Republicans are down, but Democrats are pretty down on the news as well. They're less likely to say they have no confidence at all, but it's not like they have resounding confidence. The reason I wanted to really talk to you guys is you're on the front lines; you're actually trying to build an audience, build trust, deliver on that promise. What's that been like? How has it been in tackling this “fixing the news” effort? What have you learned, and what are the changes you're making?
 
Jill Wagner 07:44
Quickly back to your point about the savvy viewers and a savvy audience, and I think it, it all ties in, is that when you talk about cable news per se and, and MSNBC, the critique is that it caters too much to, to liberals; and, and Fox News is too far to the right. Most Americans -- and I think Mosh and I hear this all of the time from, from people who on, in the Instagram account -- are somewhere in the middle and can kind of tell. You know, if there is, Joe Biden isn't all great. Everything he, you shouldn't agree with anybody, any politician; you shouldn't agree with anyone all of the time. I don't agree with friends. You know, we're all human. It's weird. You should never agree with somebody on every single point and on every single issue. So I think that, I think that viewers get that. And if, if you're never really calling it straight, I think you lose people.
 
Mohamed Younis 08:37
Mo, your reflections on that?
 
Mosheh Oinounou 08:38
First of all, I totally agree with that. And that also speaks to the business environment, because you can't get viewers anymore in cable news without going to the extremes, without preaching the gospel to your side. Or, frankly, there's always, I mean, I spent a few years working at Fox News, a certain subset of the viewers of Fox News are liberals who want to be pissed off. And, you know, and you see that on social media too. Yeah, you see that on social media too, where the folks at Meta, Facebook, etc., have discovered that what pisses us off keeps us coming, right. The comments section. You know, there's a lot of talk about how social media broke America, broke the dialogue, and we can give them a good amount of blame for the past decade. At the same time, you know, there have been various trend lines in this country that, you know, predate social media. I think it just accelerated this process.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 09:23
To your question, though, about what we've discovered about the consumer, how we're trying to bridge, bridge this divide. You know, one thing that traditional media does not do well is interact with their audience, with, get a gauge for what they're saying, for what they care about. And it turns out that sometimes it's pretty simple. If you actually ask people what they care about and engage with them, they will feel listened to; they will come to trust you. What's fascinating is there's a couple trend lines here. So first of all, you know, this began, this Mo News endeavor began on Instagram, where we have this constant interaction. And I come from a world where, when I was running the CBS Evening News, we had 6 or 7 million people watching every night. And we might get, like, 10-15 tweets about the show. Now that also speaks to the age of the audience. But at the same time, like, on an Instagram post, I will sometimes get hundreds of comments, very thoughtful comments, you know, talking about, you know, most recently, as we record this, you know, this whole controversy in the U.S. Senate of a senator blocking military promotions. And I heard from hundreds of veterans, military families, who are talking about their personal experiences. I live on this base in Texas. I live on this base in North Carolina. And then we post it, and we engage with them.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 10:36
And, you know, in traditional news, like, sure, you know, you watch a story or whatever, and you'll see a quote from a person somewhere deep in there. You know, we spoke to somebody and got a gauge for things. You know, the, a traditional thing we did in the media is like, let's go to a diner and ask people. First of all, like, it's always, Jill laughs, but this is true.
 
Mohamed Younis 10:52
Hey, that's not a random sample.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 10:54
That's not a random sample, no. I mean, like, like, like, they're like, you know how we get a gauge? And by the way, you guys are gonna see this. Anybody who's listening to this, watch the coverage in the next year. Turn on cable news during the day. A CNN reporter will be sitting in a diner in New Hampshire talking to, like, three dudes getting their coffee. “What do you guys think about Ron DeSantis?” And that is what the media does for engaging with the audience and hearing people. But other than that, they use their polling units -- not dismissing polling here. But people want to be, you know, polling, to a lot of people -- and we discuss this on the, on our pod, Mo -- like, are skeptical given the way that polls are manipulated or the polls are, you know --
 
Mohamed Younis 11:31
Well, and what you're after with the poll, right, if all you're after is what's gonna get clicks, I mean, yeah, you're gonna get content that reinforces what the polls are telling you. So it also depends on, you know, what you're after and, and who you're asking.
 
Jill Wagner 11:43
I just want to jump in really quickly with, with just a quick anecdote of how what Mosh and I are doing is so different from, from legacy media and traditional media. Every day, we try to figure out what we're gonna cover in our newsletter. We have a daily newsletter; we do one story a little bit more in depth, and it's usually a debate. We, we start out on different pages, usually. And so Mosh will say something like, “All right, I'm gonna do a poll.” And he literally will go on to Instagram, on the account, and ask people if they care about a certain story and if they want to know more. And that really influences what we decide to cover. That didn't exist a few years ago. And I do think that that -- and it doesn't exist in traditional media, at least right now. And I think that that is really special. And I, and I think audiences like to feel heard.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 12:34
And it’s not for lack of ability. Traditional media have incredible resources -- way more than we have. And they have social media followings in the millions. They don’t utilize the tools that exist today to engage with their audiences in a two-way, genuine street. It is a one-way operation, and I know this speaking from experience. You come in at CBS, you’re like, what should we declare to the world today? There’s no communication with the audience. Like, we decide what we like -- a few of us in Manhattan and some people on Zoom in D.C. That’s how network news works.
 
Mohamed Younis 13:05
And that's really, I mean, it's, it's, it's really powerful hearing that coming from you guys, because you've been on the inside, you've literally run these organizations, worked for them. And now it's kind of become increasingly common knowledge of, like, that's where the divide is. But when you look to the future, these organizations are trying to shift, right? Whether it's newspapers trying to build subscriptions or whether it's TV news putting on different folks who are not traditional, maybe, reporters to host shows, or just kind of trying to expand the circle of influence in a conversation that goes beyond the rectangle corridor, which I call, like, D.C. to New York. What do you see them doing that's working? Or is it really like, they're just sticking with the old approach, and it's not going anywhere?
 
Mosheh Oinounou 13:50
I think it's important to separate out approaches. So we're talking, we can talk platforms. We can talk about content. So there's the means in which you are communicating your news to the audience and then how you're doing it. There's been a wake-up call. And it was slightly delayed by the 2016 to 2020 political cycle. And by that, I mean, cable news saw record-high ratings at a time when there should have been a decline because of just the nature of the Trump administration. And that artificially inflated numbers, when everyone -- and, you know, having spoken from experience here -- in the mid-teens saw, like, the rise of the streaming platforms -- that people are leaving traditional platforms. How do we get to them? How do we go to the places where people are consuming?
 
Mosheh Oinounou 14:31
As opposed to, I was still on network news in 2019 being, like, Watch tonight live at 6:30. We'll give you 10 minutes of commercials and 20 minutes of news, and if you miss it, you're screwed. Whereas today, like, people are on the go. People have a million ways to get the information. Like, go to the places where people are, and that's what we’ve tried to do at Mo News. So there's the platform approach. And I think, to an extent there, there's an understanding, they're going there. You know, The Washington Post has a successful TikTok channel, right. You know, some, The New York Times, I, I think, after their wake-up call about 10 years ago, has become savvy in the ways of digital media, and is probably one of the most powerful, successful digital news operations, you know, with the purchase of The Athletic and all the various things they've done there.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 15:16
Aside from that, when you're talking about content, you know, I think there's an understanding that they need to diversify their offerings; they need to diversify the voices. At the same time, I still think there is this feeling that the media is elite and speaks down to us and is not covering things that is in line with how people are actually feeling about things. And you saw it exposed during COVID, and you saw it on a variety of other issues recently where, again, biases are not always political. Biases are experiential, are educational, are geographic. And there, I still think there's a ways to go, in terms of the national media connecting with people. And this all speaks against the backdrop, by the way, that local news is dying. And local news used to be what was most in touch with you. So now we're all getting this, like, one thing from national news and, you know, and what does national news do? They need the ratings, so they boost up the conflict and --
 
Mohamed Younis 16:13
Well, even, and if you don't, I mean, you can only say so much at the national level. Like this country, like any country, right, is so local. The economic issues people face; the safety issues people face; access to resources -- these are all local things. And some social media platforms, you know, Facebook, God bless them, like, the neighborhood listserv, like, it's a place where you can get information that you could maybe at one point get from a local newspaper. But how much does that concern you guys, as folks that see the news as broken? Is there a way to fix the news without fixing local news in America?
 
Jill Wagner 16:46
First of all, having worked for local newsrooms, they’re everything. I mean, these are people -- I used to have to come up and enterprise two stories every morning about a market that I knew nothing about. I had moved to Lansing, Michigan, for my first on-air job, and I had to make real contacts. I had to actually go for coffee with people. And it was the best learning experience I’ve ever had. But because of that reason, I was able to cover that beat in a way that I think was beneficial to the people who lived in that community. And so every time I hear about a local newsroom shutting or firing half of their staff, I feel physically sick, actually. Because I do think that local newsrooms are the most important -- that’s it, it’s, everything is local, for the most part.
 
Jill Wagner 17:33
But you also asked, what are legacy and traditional newsrooms doing right? I think we’re all part of the equation, because there’s, I do think, always is going to be a need for legacy newspapers and TV outlets. They’re the ones that have resources. They’re on the ground. If there is a national emergency or a weather event, for the most part, that’s who Americans turn to. They’ve got the boots on the ground or they’ve got the money to send boots on the ground. And, to Mosh’s point -- because this always comes back, unfortunately, to the news being a business -- it’s not cheap. And it’s not really a good business. I mean, if you were just going to get into any business to make money, I don’t think you would want to get into news. It’s, it’s not easy to make money off of quality journalism, because it’s very expensive.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 18:22
And especially in the environment where the, you know, if you look at the advertising sector these days, I mean, one of the reasons the media is so desperate for your attention is because Google and Facebook now dominate two-thirds of the ad market. And so now all the rest of the media is, like, trying to, you know, do the last third, last quarter of the advertising market. Because again, you know, like, Facebook and Google can, like, you know, microtarget your audiences in a way that the media can’t. They don’t have that technology. And so, it becomes, you know, this shockfest.
 
Mohamed Younis 18:53
We've been seeing a lot of startup news organizations popping up all around us. A lot of them are very impressive organizations run by very serious folks. From my perspective -- you guys kind of predated that wave, because you got started, really, in the lockdown -- the question I always come back to is, aren't we really just going back to the experts of clickbait news to fix the news, in a lot of these situations? Like these folks that are really out there saying, this is the new model. This is how we're gonna do news. This is, we want people to trust what we're doing. We don't want to be clickbaity. But when you look at sort of the teams they're putting together, they're all the folks that really have the genius know-how of how to make something go viral in the digital space. So it's always a conundrum to me to see like, wow, there's so many brilliant, really passionate people that are out there doing that work and see a challenge. But then you look at their teams and you're like, is this like a coming-to-Jesus moment? Is, are these --
 
Mosheh Oinounou 19:50
The people who broke it need to fix it.
 
Mohamed Younis 19:53
Exactly. Or, yeah, exactly. Is that, are these the only people really that can do that? Is that how we should see it?
 
Mosheh Oinounou 19:58
You know, listen. I think that you have to follow the trend lines. And what you saw in the kind of early social media environment -- and, like, I lived it in the newsroom, like, 2010 to 2015, like, peak Facebook, where, like, ooh, if we do that -- you know, like, all following the Buzzfeed model, and then following the Vice model. I mean, there were, like, trendy media organizations that were doing it right or figuring out how to capitalize on social media, and then, you know, there’s this pack mentality. They’re doing it! Do more of what they’re doing! I think that everyone is right to be skeptical. At the same time, like, the industry is what it is. There are only so many people in it. Obviously, there’s been some new, younger blood that has come in. But the people who are in it, you know, tend to have jumped around here. Because we’ve seen a lot of digital startups rise and fall in the past 20 years. Ben Smith over at Semafor, you know, was at Buzzfeed, then was at The New York Times, then was at Politico. And so, you know, we could go through a number of the personalities. But what’s interesting -- he has a new book out, and it came out in the spring.
 
Mohamed Younis 20:58
Yeah, we actually talked about it here on the show. It was, it's an absolute must-read. I'll just say that again.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 21:03
It's the early history of the internet, like the rise of the Huffington Post and the rise of Gawker. And, you know, you can probably listen to that episode for more on that. But it's fascinating to see, kind of, those trend lines. As far as where we're at, you know, I think there's a, a wake-up call among those in the media that, like, guess what? The consumer is smart. The consumer is you. And they saw through the nonsense, and you need to do more to regain their trust. They want to be informed about their world. They want to be taken seriously. And they want to be able to trust again. And one thing we haven't gotten to here that we've discovered on our end is that there's this loss of trust in institutions, but there's still trust in individuals. And that speaks to the fact that, like, Joe Rogan is the most trusted podcaster in America, so to speak.
 
Mohamed Younis 21:44
And our data really show that. You know, one of the studies we did with the Knight Foundation, it really highlighted the power of these public figures, public individuals (aside from networks), where people go for their news. But one of the fascinating things about that study, though, is we discovered a lot of them actually want to hear those voices on established network platforms. So, just like Jill said, when something goes down, they are gonna tune into CNN and Fox News. They may follow their day-to-day from Joe Rogan or whoever, but in the end, they're not, it's not a substitution for those established platforms. The business model may be struggling, but there hasn't been this other sort of complete alternative to where do you go when things really hit the fan and you need to, to connect with an organization that has real resources globally, that can have somebody on the ground and tell you what's happening?
 
Mohamed Younis 22:33
You guys are both, really, in your own right, legends in the news space. So it would be, I would be remiss not to ask you this question. I had the absolute pleasure of meeting a young man named Tony McGill recently, who runs his high school newspaper. And that conversation really left me with a massive level of optimism for the future of news in this country. What advice do you guys give young folks or anyone really trying to enter this profession of journalism in our time and era?
 
Jill Wagner 23:03
It's a tough question, because the industry has changed so much since Mosh and I first got going in it. But I will say a couple of the things that are the same in media as they are in any other profession that you would go in would be, work really hard, like, do the work! Put the time in. Don't be afraid to do the long hours and just work really, really hard. Find mentors. I think that's been the most important thing in, personally, in my career -- especially when I was first starting out -- is to really find people that I could trust and learn from, who took an interest in me and my career and gave me just really sound advice, because there's so many different ways that you could go.
 
Jill Wagner 23:41
And then the other thing I would say is to, to keep an open mind, because, you know, you never know what a story really is. And, and I, I was thinking about this, I had a producer. And she used to write the cold open to, to the show that I was working on right after the morning meeting. So basically, we'd have the meeting, and before I was even out the door to work on my story, the top of the show was already written. And so she would say, “Get me the sound bite from the, from the angry neighbor who says they're shocked, and they can't believe this is going on.” And you'd get there, you'd get to the story, and there wasn't an angry neighbor who said that. And they weren't shocked. Everyone was like, yeah, this kind of is what happens all the time on this block. And the truth is, is that's maybe the, the more interesting story. And you have to just keep an open mind, no matter what you're covering. Obviously, you do your research, and you want to have some background information. But the truth is probably more interesting to, to readers than what you are expecting you're gonna find.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 24:41
I agree with all of that and would just like to add to that a bit. My first professional job was at “Fox News Sunday,” working for Chris Wallace, who hosted that show for more than a decade. And I was his researcher. And it’s a Sunday show. They still exist. And they used to be the place, honestly, where politicians made their news for the week -- on “Meet the Press” and ABC “This Week” and “Fox News Sunday.” And one thing I learned in that job, as a researcher, is do the research and try to understand the perspective of who you’re interviewing. In this case, when we were interviewing Condoleezza Rice or Donald Rumsfeld or Dick Cheney or whomever, what are they going to say about it? Why do they think this is a good thing -- or a bad thing? When you ask them a question or pose a statistic to them, how are they going to counter that? And so I think that is important for all young journalists -- do the research. Figure out what prominent CEO, politician or, frankly, as Jill described, what the locals might say about what happened in their neighborhood. And then try to reflect that. Your job as a journalist is to, as hard as it may be, take yourself out of the story and tell the story that the people are telling you. Reflect the reality on the ground without imposing your experience, your opinion into it. So do the research is No. 1; understand the perspectives and get inside the head of the people that you’re covering, No. 2.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 26:01
No. 3 is a larger thing, which is, you know, Jill spoke about how the media environment has changed in the past 20 years. When we were coming up in the media, we didn’t have the, all these social media tools that exist today. We had no social media. I mean, and it’s remarkable to say. I mean, Facebook doesn’t start till ’03-’04 in Zuckerberg’s dorm room, right. YouTube doesn’t launch till ’06. Twitter launches in earnest, Take 2, around ’08, becomes big in ’09. Instagram, 2011. This is all in the past 20 years. And what, my advice to, you know, the high school editor out there, when I was the editor of my high school paper in the year 2000, we didn’t have any of this stuff. We didn’t have a website, you know. Like the web was still Netscape Navigator, and I had a Hotmail address. And that was what I knew about the internet, right. Today, you are a platform. Today, you have the ability at a -- and we see this with YouTubers -- at a very young age to create your own brand, to create your own platform, to be a media empire upon yourself. I mean, what we’ve discovered at Mo News, I was sharing news tidbits with 500 friends and family during COVID. And what did we learn? Like, that ultimately, you can build your own media organization from your social media account.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 27:10
And then, the traditional media -- I mean, this has flipped, this has flipped the reality now, where we used to be desperate to work at a place like The New York Times or CNN or any of these major organizations. Now, they’re looking for compelling social media voices out there, independent media, being like, “Are you interested in working for us? Cause we need your clout. We need your audience. We need your relationship with your audience.” And that’s something, like, you have never had more power as an up-and-coming journalist than you have today. So pick your platform, try multiple platforms, but understand that, like, between Substack, between YouTube, between TikTok, between Instagram, nothing is preventing you from doing that. And also, like, you know, figure out what your expertise is. And that’s the one other thing I tell young journalists -- and this hasn’t changed: Go learn something, other than journalism. Go bring me expertise in psychology, in history, in medicine. I mean, we saw during COVID the importance of health reporting, right? There’s a website called “statnews” that I never went to before. And they have a bunch of good reporters there, and, like, those are people who understand health deeply. And we needed their perspective to break through the latest JAMA study or the latest Fauci briefing.
 
Mohamed Younis 28:19
I mean, think about the Iraq War and what happened with insights on, like, where the U.S., what should we should we do? Why do they hate us? I mean, so much of that discourse was almost the void of true subject-matter expertise on the countries we were talking about, on the likely outcomes.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 28:39
You know, like, learn your history. I mean, look, look what we did to Iraq as the U.S., right? Without an understanding for the Sunni, Shiite, Kurd, the history, the this. Like the assumptions, the things we took for granted and how that has led to 20 years of, of the insurgency and then ISIS and, you know, all the various things, because of a lack of fundamental understanding for basic history and culture and the tribal nature of that place. And so, you know, I think that, you know, for everybody out there, whether you're a prospective journalist or not, like, learn the history. Do the research.
 
Mohamed Younis 29:15
Do the work. And the information is out there. I, I just love the optimism you guys bring to this and, seriously, the rigor you all bring to what you're doing at Mo News. I want to end it there. On that note, Mosh Oinounou, Jill Wagner and so many more awesome people are Mo News. Check them out. Folks, thanks for being on the show.
 
Jill Wagner 29:29
Thank you. Thanks for having us.
 
Mosheh Oinounou 29:31
Thanks, Mo.
 
Mohamed Younis 29:36
That’s our show. Thanks for tuning in. For more from 鶹ýAV, go to news.gallup.com, and sign up for our newsletter, Front Page, where we break down all that 鶹ýAV is learning across the globe in one weekly email. The 鶹ýAV Podcast is directed by Curtis Grubb and produced by Justin McCarthy. I’m Mohamed Younis, and this is 鶹ýAV: reporting on the will of the people since the 1930s.


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