Blitzer says there is great hope for journalism students

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Photo by Johnny Morris

Prior to his appearance at UVU’s 77th Commencement Ceremony, Wolf Blitzer, anchor of CNN’s The Situation Room, sat down with the UVU Review for an interview.

Growing up, Blitzer’s favorite section of the newspaper was page two of his hometown newspaper called The Buffalo News, which featured international news.

“I loved seeing those remote datelines from Asia, Africa or South America,” he said.

Following grad school, Blitzer said it was an exciting time to work for Reuters news agency’s Tel Aviv, Israel bureau.

With the surge of new platforms and social media news,  Blitzer said there’s great hope for current journalism students.

“There’s so many new platforms out there to be a good, serious, honest journalist,” said Blitzer. “It wasn’t that long ago when it was just print newspapers, then all of a sudden radio came, then television, now the internet and social media.”

“There’s tremendous opportunities so I don’t think it’s a dying industry at all,” said Blitzer.  “I think young people, who are interested in reporting the news, they have tremendous new pathways to take advantage of that.”

Blitzer said it’s important to remain objective despite getting criticized by the left and right.

“All the criticism we get, I throw it away and say, ‘I have a job to do’.”

The best thing for a journalist to do is report the news honestly and responsibly, according to him.

“You want to be first in the news, but more importantly you want to be accurate. Even more importantly, you want to be fair,” said Blitzer.

The last time Blitzer worked in Utah was the summer of 2016 where he had a sit-down interview with former 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. During the interview, Romney famously voiced his criticism of Donald Trump’s “bigotry” and “racist approach”.

In February, Romney’s tone with Trump changed after thanking the president for his endorsement. This came after Romney announced his campaign to run for Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s soon-to-be vacated seat in the Senate.

“He’s a politician, he’s a very smart guy. He’s had a strained relationship with Donald Trump,” said Blitzer. “They clearly want to work together. Let’s see if they can patch things up or if that tension is still going to be there.”

Blitzer calls the New York Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal great newspapers. He also likes to get information from a wide range of sources to get “more opinionated views.”