Dr. Gina Baleria: Empathy in Journalism and Today’s Media Landscape

Modern media and the state of journalism today is, well…interesting. With fake news, misinformation, and clickbait – combined with more news outlets folding or being snapped up by private equity companies – it’s a bit of a minefield. So I reached out to my friend Dr. Gina Baleria to help us make sense of it all. 

Today, Gina and I talk about the state of the journalism industry. We discuss that in addition to knowing how to write, research, and interview, journalists need intangible skills such as empathy, curiosity, community engagement, and tenacity to ensure all voices are included and authentically conveyed.  We discuss how journalists balance empathy and connection with their task at hand. Gina also shares how we, as consumers, can reduce our draw to misinformation, why media plays to our emotions, and offers strategies to help us build media literacy so we  consume it in a more thoughtful way to engage and see each other’s humanity, rather than disconnect.

Key Takeaways:

  • Social media allows for more voices to be heard that may not previously have had a platform. This is a double-edged sword.
  • Journalists can put the information out into the world, but they do not have control over how consumers choose to engage with that content. 
  • Have external cues to stop yourself from Doom Scrolling on social media. The more “suggested for you” content you look at, the more you will be shown. 
  • Give yourself pause to do a little bit of research before you share inflammatory news articles or posts. You have the option to be discerning about what you choose to consume and share. 

“As people are less aware of what’s going on in their local community, and only see national news, studies show that lack leads to more polarization, which leads to less civic engagement, which leads to a whole host of issues.” —  Dr. Gina Baleria

About Dr. Gina Baleria:

Dr. Gina Baleria, Ed.D., is an assistant professor of digital media, media writing, podcasting, and journalism at Sonoma State University and a former broadcast and digital journalist. Her book, The Journalism Behind Journalism explores how to cultivate intangible journalistic skills, such as curiosity, empathy, tenacity, recognizing implicit biases, and writing inclusively. Gina also produces and hosts the podcast News in Context. Prior to teaching, Gina was an award-winning broadcast & digital journalist at stations including KCBS Radio, KGO TV, & KGO Radio in San Francisco; KXTV & KFBK in Sacramento; and KCAL in Los Angeles. She also helped create and manage a digital newsroom at the nonpartisan nonprofit governance organization, California Forward. Outside of work, Gina enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family. She and her husband live in San Francisco. 

Connect with Gina Baleria

Book: The Journalism Behind Journalism:  Going Beyond the Basics to Train Effective Journalists in a Shifting Landscape (Routledge 2021) Also available on Amazon.

Her podcast: News in Context http://newsincontext.net/

Sonoma State University: https://coms.sonoma.edu/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ginabaleria/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/newsdawg13

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/newsincontext/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/newsincontextsf

Episode References: 

Don’t forget to download your free guide! Discover The 5 Business Benefits of Empathy: http://red-slice.com/business-benefits-empathy

Connect with Maria: 

Get the podcast and book: TheEmpathyEdge.com

Learn more about Maria and her work: Red-Slice.com

Hire Maria to speak at your next event: Red-Slice.com/Speaker-Maria-Ross

Take my LinkedIn Learning Course! Leading with Empathy

LinkedIn: Maria Ross

Instagram: @redslicemaria

Twitter: @redslice

Facebook: Red Slice

Learn More With Maria

Ready to join the revolution?

Find out how empathetic your brand is RIGHT NOW, and join our newsletter to start shifting your perspective and transforming your impact.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.