Journalism students react to Brian Williams' suspension - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Journalism students react to Brian Williams' suspension


For so many future journalists the news about Brian Williams' alleged fabricated story was especially disappointing.

Students studying to become journalists at Southern Illinois University on Wednesday talked about what it meant to see a role model discredited.

Hours before WSIU goes on air, it can get a little hectic in the newsroom.

"Whatever we have, we have to work with what we have," WSIU Sports Reporter Gabe Pishghadamian said. "There is no redo's, it is live on PBS. 

Despite the hustle and bustle before show time, the staff says accuracy and fact checking are never compromised.

“You can break trust in a second," said Reporter Melanie Albert. "It takes years to build it up and only a second to break it. I don't think any people are going to believe him anytime soon."

“Don't assume things, report what you know to be true and nothing more," News Director Greg Todd said.

For some of the students, Brian Williams is a role model. But, their opinions about his integrity changed following his suspension.

“It kind of hurts you. You know? Producer Robert Thies said. "Somebody you are supposed to be trusting, he lied about this and maybe something else."

As the station's News Director, Greg Todd says Williams' story is a perfect example of what not to do and hopes all of his students learn from his mistake.

“We are the eyes and ears for a lot of viewers and that is a pretty important role and you are effecting people's lives; and I teach students to take that very seriously," Todd said.

Brian Williams's suspension will last 6 months.

There is no word on what happens after that.

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