Is honest journalism dead?

By Eliah Anderson
Staff Writer

As a budding journalism student in Mr. Lund’s class, the first rule I learned about news was: tell the facts. Use who, what, when, where, why and how and nothing else. No jargon, no opinion, just straight facts. Though potentially boring to read it is exactly as it proclaims to be: news. Somewhere along the lines of journalistic rankings, starting with me at the bottom in journalism class to multi-billion dollar worldwide news corporations, news has become less factual and more opinion based. Why is modern news subjective instead of objective? And is that a disservice to the population? The purpose of this article is to analyze some of the cause and effects of objectivity in the media and shed some light on the murky water we call news.

The general consensus of the Kayhi students and teachers that I interviewed was that news is not objective. That claim was backed up by different books and articles that I read. Are people OK with reading objective news? Apparently, it’s just kinda been accepted.

Senior Lora Starr, a self-described ‘political junkie’ dedicates 1-2 hours of her busy schedule each week to following current events. “It is pretty evident when you watch the news that you’re not really getting just facts, you are getting the opinion of the news organization,” Starr said. “You can find two stories from two different news sources and the way that they cover them will be completely opposite even though it is essentially the same story.” History teacher Mr. Cron agrees that most news is biased, saying, “Some venues of news are more objective than others. I think it is impossible to have true objectivity because there is always subconscious objective bias present. Some news organizations try very hard to report truth and objectivity whereas others don’t.”

The problem then becomes discerning what is truth from the objective articles you read. The book Blur: How to Know What’s Truth in the Age of Information Overload by Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel gives 6 easy questions to ask to discover the truth in news. But is the average person going to take the time to follow such steps? Maybe, maybe not. The questions are:

Ask the Questions

  • What kind of content am I encountering?
  • Is the information complete; and if not what is missing?
  • Who or what are the sources, and why should I believe them?
  • What evidence is presented and how was it tested or vetted?
  • What might be an alternate explanation or understanding?
  • Am I learning what I need to?

Biased news isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact some, like Mr. Cron, appreciate the bias. Mr. Cron uses partisan stories to formulate his own thoughts. “I think that news that is just straight facts is actually a disservice because you have somebody that has spent a lot more time doing research about things than I have as a reader,” Cron said. “I am not really in a position to have an opinion but I am interested in people who have spent a lot of time thinking about this and what their opinion is.”

What Cron looks for in a news source is its ability to make accurate predictions. For him an example of a quality news story is one by journalist Nate Silver where Silver evaluates a wrong prediction he made. Originally, Silver said that Donald Trump had less than a 2% chance of becoming the Republican nominee but was proved wrong with time, as Trump has now secured that title. Cron uses journalists who reevalute their predictions as an indicator for truthful news.

Different types of news bias:

Type of Bias Description
Corporate Report news based on profit
Liberal Report news based on politically liberal views
Conservative Report news based on politically conservative views
Advertisement Report news to please advertisers
Mainstream Bias Report what others are reporting in an effort to not offend anyone

Where did biased news come from? Is the consumer not demanding fair news or are the companies swayed by outside sources? Senior Amber Junker feels that the reason news is biased is because news companies are businesses who need to make money and stay afloat. It’s a simple process of supply and demand. “People don’t really want to watch the newscaster say ‘here’s all this boring information about something,’ Junker said. “They’d rather watch something that is entertaining. That’s just kind of how it is but it’s not what everyone wants.” She continued to say that news is often based off of ratings. For example when reporting on the presidential campaigns the media often focused little on actual policies and more on entertainment value. Trump got the most media attention by far and ended up securing the nomination.

The Atlantic reported a story titled The Shock Jock Candidate: How did Donald Trump Win The Primary which analyzed how Trump used media, even if it portrayed him in a negative light, to secure the primary. Trump has used such strategies as attacking news anchors and other candidates relentlessly to get coverage. Even Trump himself admitted to exaggerating his speech. “From the speaking standpoint, I would tone it down somewhat as president – don’t forget I started out competing against 17 people,” Trump said in an article by People Magazine.

Starr believes all the news helped Trump to get to where he is today. “I think any media attention is good media attention. It got Trump’s name out and people knew more about him because he was covered so much in the newspaper,” Starr said. “A lot of the news is just about him and not his policies.” Donald Trump is one example of the social relationship between the news and the people. The media can impact the public in ways that affect the elections and the public can impact the media by demanding a certain type of coverage.

Ultimately it comes down to the reader to decipher the truth out of the news. There are many different opinions in the world but each individual must decide their worldview for him or herself, regardless of the variety of influences that attempt to persuade someone one way or another.

“If you look at a very liberal media outlet verse a conservative one and you look at the stories they are choosing to tell, the stories are often completely different,” Cron said. “It’s because they have certain worldviews that they want to re-enforce. In some ways that [bias] is unavoidable but people that are educated need to understand what are the true goals and incentives that drive the behavior of the news business.”

Johnson signs with Cal Maritime

By Tug Olson
Staff Writer

Senior Isaac Johnson signed a letter of intent to play basketball at NAIA Division II California State University Maritime Academy.
Johnson said visiting the school helped him make the decision.
“It’s super rainy in Ketchikan, so when I got off the plane in San Francisco and it was sunny and 75 degrees I knew I would like it,” said Johnson.
Isaac’s future team also made him feel confident in the school, and they “accepted me with open arms”.
Sister Kreylynn Johnson had nothing but praise for her big brother.
“Isaac has been playing ever since he could walk, he’s one of the hardest working people I know. He doesn’t always get credit for the stuff he does, so it’s nice to see him get some recognition. We’re all proud of him”.
Isaac is excited to attend the school because he hopes to pursue a career in the line of maritime and hopefully become a cruise ship pilot.

Baseball to losers bracket at Regions

By Kreylynn Johnson
Staff Writer

The Kayhi Kings fell short to Juneau Douglas 6-2 yesterday in Petersburg at the first round of Regionals. However the Regional tournament is double elimination, the Kings still have a shot at going to State. Today they will play Thunder Mountain and if they win, they will advance. The team has to win the next two games to advance to State.

Sports Previews

Baseball
Kayhi baseball heads to Petersburg for the Region tournament and will compete in their first game Thursday at 1:30 p.m. against Juneau Douglas. Games will continue throughout the weekend to determine which team will be the Region champions and head to the State tournament.

Softball
T
he Kayhi Lady Kings (6-10, 5-5) are looking to make a run at the state tournament coming out of their bye week. This is the last weekend of the regular season, and they will be taking on Sitka. The two teams have split a pair of one-run games and Sitka bested Kayhi in a 21-15 slugfest. They control their own destiny in the chase for a spot in the state tournament.
“It’s nerve-racking and exciting because chance to go to state is in our hands again,” said senior Lexi Biggerstaff. Games are Friday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 3:30 and 6:15, with the latter being a conference game. Senior night ceremonies will take place right before the last game.
“It’s gonna be a really emotional experience to play at home for last time,” said Biggerstaff.

Track
Kayhi track will be taking eight athletes this weekend to the 4A State Championships in Anchorage. The eight athletes that qualified were Bernadette Franulovich, Tori Seley, Kaia Michalsen, Desiree De Melo, Erika Rodanhisler, Galat Tut, Trevor Ortiz, and Joey Rhoads. Out of the eight going, half of them went to state last year.
For Rodanhisler, State is an emotional roller coaster, even if you have experience. “State track is really difficult. There’s a lot of stress that comes with being there but there is also a lot of excitement with being there.”
For Tut, a first time appearance means gaining experience and learning for next year. “Well, I make sure I get plenty of sleep the day before the meet and to not eat too much. I will eat a light breakfast and have some fruit. Before I race, I make sure I stretch and keep the blood flowing.”
For seniors Franulovich and Michalsen, this will be there last race in high school. This will also be the last race for Rodanhisler, because she is moving from Kayhi next year.

It’s gotta be the shoes

AJ
Junior AJ Dela Cruz attempts a layup against Mt. Edgecumbe. Photo by David Albertson

By Kreylynn Johnson
Staff Writer

It’s hard for junior AJ Dela Cruz to walk. It’s hard to watch her walk.
But athletes like AJ are not just an ACL. She isn’t the shimmy-after-a-3-pointer braggart. If anything, she’s too humble.
At the state basketball tournament, she hobbled off the bench to give her teammates water. At the basketball awards banquet head coach Kelly Smith said that AJ’s basketball ability is just one-tenth of how great she is as a person.
She mentors the freshmen, she brings lumpia to her coaches, and she doesn’t just wear Jordans, she donates them.

Growing up
AJ’s family is originally from the Philippines, however she was born in Los Angeles, California. She is the only one from her family to play high school basketball.
“There’s so much more to basketball though…and that’s basketball shoes,” said Dela Cruz. For every game of AJ’s basketball career, she has only worn Jordans. Most kids sell their hardly used shoes on websites like Ketchikan Sale Cycle, but AJ trades in her old J’s for something much more rewarding than money.
“When I grow out of them, I send them to the Philippines. They normally go to my younger cousins there, because they don’t have access to shoes like we do here in the U.S,” said Dela Cruz.
AJ frequently gets new pairs of Jordans, so she is unable to wear all of them as much as she’d like to before she grows out of them. Every time she gets a new pair, she gives a pair away.
“People think getting hand-me-down shoes isn’t that big of a deal here, but you can see how valuable a nice pair of shoes is to them by their friends comments on social media like, ‘Woah, dude hook me up’ It’s nice that I can give them that joy,” said Dela Cruz about gifting her shoes.
Her admiration for Jordans basketball shoes could actually be considered a healthy obsession and it all started before she can remember.
“My first pair of shoes was a pair of baby Jordans,” said Dela Cruz.
Who is to blame for AJ’s shoe obsession? The same people who are to blame for every teenagers problems – their parents.
“It’s something that me and my dad share. For basketball, I only wear Jordans because I grew up watching him only wear Jordans. It’s all they ever bought me. Now, I’m so used to wearing them that I can’t wear anything else,” said Dela Cruz.
Not only did AJ’s parents birth the shoe fetish, but they continue to encourage it by buying her the latest pair.
“I own around 35 pairs of Jordans, and a climate controlled shoe display so that they are kept at room temp (59-72) and maintain mid condition,” said Dela Cruz.

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Baby AJ with baby Jordans.

Battling Tough Times
She’s is currently living every athlete’s worst nightmare. Shortly after gaining recognition statewide after impressive performances in three games at the Dimond Lady Lynx Prep Shootout, and days after hitting seven 3-pointers in a blowout win over Mt. Edgecumbe, she made a jump stop, and felt a pop. She went down with what teammates thought was a minor injury.
“AJ doesn’t get hurt, so we didn’t jump to any serious conclusions. She reacted so calm, I mean it’s AJ, ” said former teammate Courtney Kemble.
AJ is one of the hardest working, level leaded, most entertaining players that you’ll ever come across. Not only does she dominate on the court, but when the clock runs out, she remains humble and always credits her teammates.
“It never even crossed my mind that something like this could happen to me. I guess you never really see these things coming, well at least I know that I didn’t,” said Dela Cruz.
What teammates thought was a minor injury, actually turned out to be the tearing of her ACL, LCL, and Meniscus. One second she was leading the team in 3-pointers and counting down the days until she got to play for the Student Athlete’s World USA team in Europe this summer, and the next she couldn’t even walk.
“She’s such a great kid, she doesn’t deserve what happened to her,” said assistant coach Jeff Lund.
But she will persevere with her patented smile and giggle. What AJ lacks in healthy ligaments, she makes up for in heart and character.  Without a doubt, we’ll see her in a Lady Kings jersey again next season, and what’s keeping her motivation going is her divine love for the game, but more importantly her love for the Jordans.

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Sports Recaps

Baseball
Kayhi baseball finishes its last series of games against Juneau Douglas, JV won both games this weekend on Friday 10-2 and Saturday 11-1. Varsity lost Friday’s game 4-2 and split Saturday’s doubleheader losing 11-2 and winning 3-1.The Kings will head off to Regions in Petersburg this Wednesday.

Boys Soccer
Kayhi Kings soccer out scored Thunder Mountain 12-0 at home this weekend at the season finale. Friday’s game ended 5-0 with Rudy Pankow providing two goals as well as Mikey Gaugler, Izaak Jensen, and Brennen Schulz contributing to the goal pool.  Before the game Saturday, it was the senior night ceremony. The seniors this year are Kenny Johnson, Gaugler, Pankow, Sam Weston, Chance Rhein, Shulz, Logan Baxstrom, Alec Miller, and Daniel Dela Pointe.
“I have watched this class play and work together through the years. It will be hard to see them go,” said Coach Dave Mitchel. After the ceremony the game took place and the Kings scored in the first five minutes. Henning Pankow scored first for the Kings and then his brother Rudy Pankow scored after that. Kenny Johnson scored twice, as well as Sam Weston, Mikey Gaugler, and Mark Jasper to make Saturday’s  ending score 7-0. 

Track
Kayhi boys and girls track took second in team scores at regions last weekend. Kayhi will be sending eight athletes to state, five girls and three boys. Bernadette Franulovich, Erika Rodanhisler, Kaia Michalsen, Desiree De Melo, and Tori Seley qualified for the girls. Galat Tut, Joey Rhoads, and Trevor Ortiz qualified for the boys. Franulovich has won the 100m and 200m four years in a row, and Rodanhisler has won the 400m two years in a row. This will also be a first time state appearance for Tut, Rhoads, Ortiz, and Seley.
“Being successful and winning hasn’t pushed me nearly as much as just enjoying my last year racing these girls,” sophomore Rodanhisler said. “I’ve been mostly focused on having fun but nerves have still gotten to me a lot. Going out there and having everyone watch you and screaming at you can make you really nervous even if you aren’t out there to win.”
Kayhi will travel the eight kids to Dimond High School in Anchorage this weekend for the 4A State Championships. For seniors Franulovich and Michalsen, this will be their final meet wearing the Kayhi maroon.