BARNEGAT, NJ - When classes were still in session, Stephanie Faughnan, the Editor of TapintoBarnegat/Waretown shared her expertise with Digital Communications students at Barnegat High School. As an experienced journalist who currently writes for Tapinto, she spoke about ethical considerations, plagiarism and bias in the media. Faughnan led a presentation and discussion that provided her audience with meaningful and authentic insight into the world of journalism and media.
“This proved to be an impactful experience as this class explores how the field has changed over time while learning about the many careers that can be pursued,” explains Digital Communications teacher, Shannon Rossi.
With information at our fingertips, mindful journalists need to avoid plagiarism. “Reword and rework” was a common phrase Faughnan referred to when speaking about plagiarism. Faughnan emphasized that journalists, and anyone writing with a purpose, need to give credit to where credit is due.
“When in doubt- attribute!” exclaimed Faughnan.
She also spoke about building credibility as a reporter. Some tips given to students on building credibility included using plagiarism tools and knowing copyright infringement laws. Avoiding bias is a challenge that was also addressed as she discussed the importance of telling all sides of the story and not revealing bias in writing. Faughnan explained, “Balance is key.”
Faughnan received a journalism degree at Rutgers University and after college she worked as a paralegal for ten years. As a paralegal, she wrote a book on medical malpractice and later worked for a major legal publisher where she sold legal research for 20 years prior to her current position. As a Clark, New Jersey native, Stephanie recounts her days at a print weekly publication in Union County when it was all about the “hot news of the time.”
A typical day for this passionate reporter is searching to find the perfect story to write, all while striving to make a positive impact as a journalist. On top of her journalistic duties. Stephanie also established a company where ‘feel good’ stories are shared that are sent to her for special occasions, such as Mothers and Father's Day.
As aspiring journalists, writers and content creators, Stephanie Faughnan’s honest and authentic insight into the field proved to leave the students with meaningful and ‘real’ takeaway. Some potent advice for students to take with them is to, “Write, write, and have thick skin!” Mrs. Rossi and her students valued her advice and shared knowledge, as much of it can also be applicable to everyday life, other careers and daily decision-making.