Navigating the Truth: Ann Curry Upholds Journalistic Integrity

When Ann Curry, a former NBC reporter, visited the high school on Wednesday, December 6th, it was evident that she was passionate about the importance of unbiased reporting. 

As a journalist, Ms. Curry conceded, “if your motivation is to make [someone] think something, you should not be completely trusted.”

It has recently become increasingly difficult to discern fact from opinion in news pieces. Truth is consistently contested and distorted in our digital age of polarization in politics. Journalistic integrity has become compromised, making it essential to discern biased reporting from unbiased news. 

Ms. Curry joined public speaking and journalism students in Room 227 at the end of last year, and she had a lot to say about effective communication and the motivation behind it.  A journalist, she said,   must “understand their sources and their motivation” to begin their writing process. 

Ms. Curry’s focus on discovering the motivation encourages a straightforward look at the facts presented and promotes finding the truth within a piece. Readers should ask themselves what a journalist’s motivation is before believing every word on the page. 

However, with increasingly politicized news, it becomes even more difficult to stay unbiased as a journalist. Journalists, according to Curry, need to ask themselves:  What am I trying to do? before beginning a piece in order to strive for unbiased reporting. 

Ms. Curry — who was invited to visit the high school  by her friend, our own Dana Foote, the student & family coordinator —  explained that if people are motivated “to convince [others] to be persuaded to go one way or another politically, then their motivations are impure.” 

As media consumers, it is imperative to be discerning in our approach to news consumption. Ms. Curry’s insights provide a valuable framework for readers to assess the reliability of a piece. 

Furthermore,  Ms. Curry highlights the significance of the publication itself in determining the reliability of news. In her TED Talk from 2018 (add date and link it), she advocates for supporting quality journalism by subscribing to reputable sources rather than social media. 

Social media platforms have become integral sources of news for millions worldwide. However, they also serve as breeding grounds for biased reporting and misinformation. The rapid dissemination of information on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram has democratized the news landscape, allowing anyone with internet access to share their perspectives and narratives. Producing credible news requires significant resources and a dedicated team effort. Therefore, if news is being offered for free, it’s often inaccurate. 

“It’s very inexpensive to tell a lie,” Ms. Curry said, “but it’s expensive to tell the truth.” 

Investing in trustworthy news outlets is essential for maintaining an informed society. 

In the digital age, where news is constantly and overly available, the need for unbiased reporting has never been more pressing. By embracing Ms. Curry’s insights and a commitment to truth, we can collectively pave the way for a more informed and empowered future. 

As news consumers, let us heed Ms. Curry’s call to action and strive towards a media ecosystem that values accuracy, transparency, and integrity above all else.

Zarina Medeiros ’26 is staff writer for The Grace Gazette. She attended Ms. Curry’s talk at the high school on Dec. 6, 2023.