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Episode 58: The State of Media Today with Natalie Tysdal

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Brief summary of show:

As you know if you’ve been listening to my podcast, I believe that we were created to do hard things. It's one of my favorite things to say to my kids, and it's something that I tell myself when things get difficult.

Leaving my stable job in the news business was a big leap for me, and so was starting my own business and podcast. It was the greatest decision I ever made.

In this episode, I’m back with a life and career update, and I’m sharing with you some key things I have learned about this next generation of incredible kids. I also touch on how I feel about the state of media today, and why it’s so important to report ethically.

Listen in as we talk about:

  • [2:00] A life and career update that I’m finally sharing with you

  • [4:40] Starting a new job that brings me full circle in my journalism career

  • [6:40] What I’ve learned firsthand about teenagers

  • [13:00] The state of the media today

  • [14:00] The importance of ethical journalism

Notes from Natalie:

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View Transcript for this Episode

[00:00:00] Natalie: Hi everyone. It's Natalie time for a life update. And before I dive in deep, I want to thank you one year of this podcast, and I am blown away by the love and support. So many reviews, emails, new subscribers to my newsletter and my podcast. All I can say is, wow. I can't. Thank you enough. And if you haven't subscribed to the podcast or the newsletter, I'm going to put a link in the show notes so that you can do so right now.

[00:00:28] And if you haven't left a review for the podcast, would you mind taking just two minutes to do this? For me, it would mean so much because what happens is. People listen, and they see the reviews. And when they do that, they know that there's something valuable here. And you can tell people what I talk about and why you like the show that helps me grow.

[00:00:48] So thank you for that. As many of you know, by now, if you've listened in the past, I love learning and I hope you do too. I believe that all of us were created to do hard things. It's one of my [00:01:00] favorite things to say to my kids. And it's something that I tell myself when things get difficult. We were created to do hard things.

[00:01:07] We have to stay challenged, leaving my stable job in the news business. It was a big leap for me creating my own business, this new business podcast and website that was leap for me. But let me tell you. It was the greatest decision I ever made.

[00:01:24] Natalie: Did I love my nearly 30 years as a TV anchor reporter producer.

[00:01:28] Most of it. I'm going to tell you a few things that I would like to see change in the news business in just a few minutes. And if you are a consumer of news, I think it's really important that you stick around to hear that.

[00:01:43] [00:02:00]

[00:02:53] Natalie: But I will say. As my time in the news business went on, I learned so [00:03:00] much. I grew, I stretched and I am where I am today as a mom.

[00:03:05] And I am where I am as a journalist because of that time that I spent in the business. So this podcast. Is a joy. It is such a light in my life each week. I'm talking to the best of the best in improving our health, our relationships, our parenting, and also our mindset just after starting the podcast. I was asked to teach journalism at my daughter's high school.

[00:03:31] Talk about full circle. Let me give you a little bit of background here. I've been a journalist for almost 30. But early in my career, I was on the education beat. I did education stories every day at one TV station in Texas, I won the Texas education association reporter of the year award. It was called the apple award and it was such an honor to me because it meant that my work as a reporter, focusing on education meant something to other people.

[00:03:59] In addition to [00:04:00] that, I started in elementary school about 15 years ago with the help of. Other, very courageous parents.

[00:04:06] Natalie: And now just as I'm starting my new business and this podcast, I'm asked to teach high schoolers. I have high schoolers. I get a little. Of a high school issues in my household. And I'm thinking teach high schoolers, what should I do?

[00:04:24] Honestly, it was a no brainer for me. It was an answer to prayer. And those of you who have followed my career as a journalist know just how seriously I take the job. It's so important for me to see balance and ethics in journalism. I took one of those personality tests years ago, my top two motivators in this test that I took were morals, ethics, and helping other people so teach high school.

[00:04:54] Okay. And it was just one class a day. Well, in addition, in that personality test, I'll add [00:05:00] this. I was found to be an action taker. So teaching high school seemed like a very natural thing for me to do. What I was concerned about was having the patience to work with more than just the two, high school.

[00:05:13] There's actually, I have a college daughter, a high school daughter and a 12 year old, so different levels. I just didn't know if I would have the patience to work with teenagers every single day and teenagers that I didn't know as well as my own teenagers. I left television to have quote more time in my life, but I just couldn't pass the opportunity up to teach tomorrow's leaders. How to do this thing called. News the right way. If we even call it news anymore, I'm not even sure.

[00:05:45] Storytelling, um, media I've changed the name of our class. So here I am, I'm doing the podcast every week. I'm a mom. I travel a lot and I'm teaching high schoolers. I wanted to give you some of the things that I have learned [00:06:00] in my first year of teaching. I have such an appreciation for teachers being a mom and trying to help others hear that.

[00:06:09] Natalie: That I wanted to tell you, I've learned, first of all, kids and teenagers in particular are resilient. I talk a lot on this podcast about mental health, about anxiety and depression. And I know that those numbers are higher than they have ever been. Our young people. But what I have seen is that our kids have experienced a lot in the past few years, but they have bounced back and they have the capability of bouncing back.

[00:06:40] We have to believe in them and continue to tell them that they can bounce back. Are they struggling? Like. Yes, but I have seen an incredible amount of adaptation and resilience in these young people. I've said it before, and I will say it over and over again. There is no pain [00:07:00] without purpose and the pain that these kids have seen by not going to school and missing their prompts and not having real graduations.

[00:07:09] They will find purpose in that later in their life. And we need to remind them of that. They will have stories to tell, and they will be stronger because of it. The hardships that they have faced have happened to so many of us in the past two years. Absolutely. We'll make them stronger and you know what we need, we need a young generation of strong people.

[00:07:33] So continue to tell the young people in your life, how proud you are of them for bouncing back from these challenges. What else have I learned? Teenagers? Love kids. And it is very natural for them to tell stories. Being a media teacher has helped me realize that we're not taking media away from them. We simply can't do that.

[00:07:55] It's incorporated into every level of their life, from their learning to their [00:08:00] entertainment. So as that changes, we need to change with it. We need to teach them, especially those. Like those who are in my class, they're interested in video and editing and writing and storytelling. We need to teach them how to tell good stories, how to be ethical in how they tell those stories.

[00:08:19] But we also need to teach them how to consume media. Obviously for us and for them, media is available 24 7, but that doesn't mean that we all need to be consuming media 24 7. It's dangerous to do so. It's one of the reasons I left the news business. I had too much of it and all of that negativity started to impact me.

[00:08:42] And I know it does so many of you. We need to teach kids how to turn it off when to turn it off and more importantly, How to be discerning about what they consume, how to question what they consume, because the world of media has allowed anyone and [00:09:00] everyone to join. Anyone can be a quote journalist. We need to know where information is coming from, and we need to know the agenda of each person who is giving out information in this new form of media.

[00:09:15] Okay. So what else have I learned? Kids don't watch traditional TV. So my first day of class, I asked my students who watches television news. You could've heard a pin drop, no one in my classroom. Television news. I knew the number would be low, but to have none of them who watched television news, I was surprised this is what I did for so many years, their parents watched, but none of them watched.

[00:09:45] I grew up in a generation and maybe you relate to this that watched the news to learn what was happening in the world. The 5:00 PM news, the six and 10:00 PM news. My parents always watched the news before going to bed. And I did too. It's where we learned what the [00:10:00] weather would be for the next day. So we could plan what we were going to wear for the next day.

[00:10:04] All we have to do now is ask Siri or ask Alexa. My Alexa is right here. Oh, the light just went off. Alexa thinks I'm asking a question. All we have to do is ask Siri, Alexa, or even tap an app on our phone and we can find out anything. We can, obviously the weather is right there too. We have adapted and our.

[00:10:24] Only know this digital way of doing things on a lighter note. What else have I learned? Doughnuts can go a long way towards motivating kids. My first weeks in the classroom, I was certain that I was going to have a very structured classroom because of the newsroom environment that I was creating there.

[00:10:43] But. It changed. So why do I bring up donuts with us? Because it's been a weekly occurrence in the class every Monday, and I think it symbolizes something even bigger and that is the need for levity. Our kids need to know. And teaching high school certainly has [00:11:00] taught me to find level. Every day or a crown to class earlier this week, maybe you sat on the Instagram page because it was spirit week.

[00:11:09] And I knew the kids would think it was funny. And it's not always easy for me to take that step back and just remind myself, we need to have fun in everything that we're doing and the kids need that too. They need to see it from us. So a little bit of levity and a few donuts.

[00:12:30] Natalie: I told you that I was going to talk a little bit about the state of.

[00:12:34] Today earlier when we, when I started the podcast, what's wrong with the news too. Well, there are several things, but I want first to note balance, it's simply not there. And people ask me all the time when they find out that I left the news business, how I feel about it. It's simply not. Their headlines are more salacious than ever.

[00:12:56] I read a headline the other day. That was actually a quote from an [00:13:00] angry parent. And there was no explanation. There was no name. It was just a headline in a major news organization and the quote, it actually convicted someone who hasn't even been on trial. I saw another quote in a story online that was with someone who was far removed from the story.

[00:13:19] And this person referred to quote, a bunch of other people are saying, and then gave their quote. It was third-hand knowledge. Who knows if it was even true, but that was a headline.

[00:13:31] Natalie: One Of the first things I learned as a journalist was not to quote anonymous sources, quote people who are willing to give their name, because what they're saying is true. If we don't quote people, they could be giving out extremely harmful information and hurting someone else's reputation and not even having to stand by.

[00:13:52] To not quote someone with a name is lazy and bias journalism. Another example I will give is telling [00:14:00] stories by using another news agency, as a source versus vetting the story and doing the research. This has become all too common. Even at some of the biggest news agencies. It's not okay. And it's how bad information spreads part of this is competition news organizations see a story on another platform and they think, oh no, we don't have that story.

[00:14:22] So they quote another organization and that's just not okay. Part of the problem also. Is the lack of funding in newsrooms and the lack of advertising that they're getting. And part of that is leading to smaller newsrooms, fewer people doing the work and more of those people having to do several jobs.

[00:14:43] They're overworked. So. Enough about that. Why am I teaching and why am I teaching journalism? Well, I want there to be a new generation of people who actually care about the truth and people who are willing to do that work. The public deserves that [00:15:00] all of you who consume any type of news on any platform, you deserve that in the meantime.

[00:15:06] I'm going to keep doing interviews that inspire people. And yes, sometimes I do have to press for more information or for the truth, but I promise you, I will always do the research and I care so much about the people I interview and the people who are listening and how my work impacts them. I'm not afraid to do all of that and I will continue doing it.

[00:15:29] Where we grow, where we put our time, where we put all of our energy. That's where I think we really need to think about the type of news that we consume. You're going to see some other interviews on my YouTube channel. You might see some others on my website, but here on this podcast, I'm going to continue to focus on family health and positive minds.

[00:15:50] So remember, fill your mind with what you need to stay positive and to be your best self. Let me tell you, after anchoring a four hour morning show, [00:16:00] I had my fill of death and destruction daily things that really didn't help me. They didn't serve me. And what I really started to realize in the final years of my career was.

[00:16:10] It wasn't serving the public in the way that I wanted it to or at once did. And when I say my career, I mean my traditional television career, because now I have transitioned into this digital world, which again has been an incredible blessing for me. You can control what you feed your mind. That's the thing I want you to remember do.

[00:16:30] And teach your kids to do the same. Thanks for listening today. Um, I hope that you'll hit subscribe and share this podcast with others. And I will talk to you again next week.

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