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KET's Goodman embraces social media -- to a point

BY DAVID ZOELLER dzoeller@paducahsun.com

Veteran journalist Bill Goodman has a long history of covering Kentucky politics and issues, but that experience hasn't necessarily prepared him for practicing his craft in the digital age.

The longtime host of KET's public affairs series "Kentucky Tonight" shared his thoughts Thursday on the current state of journalism and the challenges of producing content in the social media era at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce's Power in Partnership breakfast at the Julian Carroll Convention Center.

Goodman related his experience teaching "Politics and Journalism in the Age of Social Media" at Centre College in Danville, taking students through the traditional news-gathering process and how social media are used to cover news today.

"I wanted them to think critically about the basic tenants of journalism," Goodman said. He asserted they include always report the truth; always base the truth on facts; elucidate rather than advocate; be fair to both sides; keep a clear line between opinion and reportage, and approach reporting the news with "restless curiosity to look behind closed doors and in dark corners."

Goodman admitted to being "staggered by the velocity of the winds driving the news today," which include advances in mobile technology, Twitter, Facebook and digital news sites like BuzzFeed.

Twitter, in particular, creates some issues for reporters. For instance, Goodman said, "When I'm tweeting what the governor is saying (at an address like the State of the Commonwealth) I'm missing what he said in the next sentence."

Journalists need to balance the need for speed against maintaining the integrity of the news-gathering process. "Can we keep the type of journalism alive that has served us so well and live up to the standards of those who came before us? I hope so."

Prior to Goodman's remarks, chamber members received an update on priority projects from Deborah Edwards, the board chairwoman. Raj Singh, of Creative Eye American Apparel, was recognized as the chamber's Entrepreneur of the Month.

The next Power in Partnership breakfast is April 10.

Contact David Zoeller, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8676.

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