Dear… Me

Graduation is 10 days away! Congrats you did it!

Dear-Younger-MEDespite the odds, you make it… Not many people thought you’d make it this far. Not because you weren’t smart enough or didn’t have the willpower, but after all you’ve been through… statistically you weren’t supposed to make it this far in life.

Losing your mother at the age of 12. Suffering through depression and suicidal thinking throughout the years. Not living with your Daddy, despite desperately wanting to. Moving from house to house. Moving in with your spiritual parents. And so much more.

I, for one, am proud of you! I’m proud of you for pushing through and not giving up even when you wanted to. Thank you. I wouldn’t be here if you hadn’t.

You’ve beat the odds. You’re about to graduate college. You’ve accomplished so much and422089_10150689657004460_910857626_n learned a lot, especially over the last five years.

During this journey, you’ve learned about time, friendships, stress, life after college

Time management is important. Although you did learn over the years that you can work quite well on deadline. But you’ve also learned how relieving it can be to work ahead and pace yourself. Know yourself and your limits. You may not have finished in four years, but what’s important is that you finished.

You’ve learned to take time to relax. Sitting by the bayou in the sun or in the quad reading a book or studying outside Starbucks or taking walks around campus. Whatever medium you used, you learned the importance of breaks.

While it is important to stay focused, you learned that it is just as important to enjoy life while it happened and not to let it pass you by.

Along this journey, you’ve connected with some pretty amazing people and met some great friends.The connections and friendships you’ve attained will hopefully be lifelong. How would you have made it without these people? Through these relationships, you’ve learned self-sacrifice, patience and so much more. You’ve learned the importance of friendships and how to be a good friend.

530360_10152092066589460_820806667_nOver the years you’ve allowed stress to get the best of you. It took you quite awhile, but eventually you did learn to not stress. Stressing never helped you get anything done. It actually wasted a lot of your time and got you nowhere. You’ve learned to pray and relax instead of stressing.

Take one day at a time, one assignment at a time. There’s no need to stress and no time to stress either. Just breath and enjoy life.

You’ve also learned not to stress over life after college. God has a plan and purpose for your life. So why stress when the creator of the universe has a unique plan in mind for you?

You may not have a job lined up and may not know exactly what you want to do in life. So what? It’s not the end of the world and you still have some time. Don’t rush to make decisions because you think they should’ve been made already. That is never a good idea.

untitled010Get ready! Ready for your career. Ready for marriage. Ready for a family. Ready for all the possibilities and opportunities life has to offer you. Remember to take chances and experience life. Take adventures and get out of your comfort zone. Do things you’ve never done.

The future has some much to offer you, but you can’t be scared. Don’t allow fear to cripple you. You are great! You have greatness within you. You were born to make a difference and you will, but don’t be afraid to take the next step, to jump into the unknown.

13177483_10154891403674460_2587620321745547303_nMost importantly, don’t lose yourself or your faith. You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God. And He makes no mistakes. Stay true to yourself. Always seek Christ first in everything and keep God at the center. Follow His guidance. You’ll never go wrong. You are loved! You are important! You are needed!

Push yourself. With Christ, you can do all things. Don’t place limits on yourself or on what God has for you. Follow your heart.  And always strive for your best. You beat the odds before and you will continue to do so. Have faith in God and in yourself.

I pray that you are happy and healthy and living life to the fullest. I pray that you remembered everything that you’ve learned and how much you’ve grown over the years. Take time to reflect and always be thankful. Life will continue to throw curveballs and maybe even fireballs your way, but they won’t stop you. They never did. Remember that your are strong. Your strength is found in God.

13151996_10154891399374460_5781943470641969158_nYou have a bright future ahead of you. So, don’t give up.

I can’t wait to see what amazing things you do. Because you were born to be great. Remember that God loves you! And whenever you feel lost or don’t know what to do next, just go to Him. He’s never steer you wrong.

Set goals and then exceed them.

Don’t worry because everything is going to work out in God’s timing. Keep believing in Him and trusting in Him. Who knows where you’re going next? Or what you’ll be doing next? I’m excited to find out. Continue to do everything that said you couldn’t or wouldn’t do. You’ve got this.






To name or not to name

This is a question many journalists, especially investigative journalists, are faces with.

An anonymous source is someone a reporter interviews but is not named in the actualanonymoussource story. One of the reasons is that they may fear losing their job. Another reason is that t may fear for their lives or their family. They may want to provide the information but don’t want the people they are talking about to find out the information came from them.

But there are also many problems and concerns with anonymous sources.

One: readers might question their credibility. Two: their reasoning may be to push their personal agenda. Three: descriptions used instead could be misleading.

But sometimes they are the only key to unlocking the true to a big story.

Nixon Resigns

The most famous anonymous source is “Deep Throat.” He was the source Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein used to help them uncover the Watergate scandal in the Nixon administration.

Watergate was the major political scandal that occurred in the 70s in the United States after a break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters and President Nixon‘s administration’s attempt to cover-up its involvement.

Through their investigation and discoveries, they were able to connect Nixon to the burglary. Further investigation of Nixon was done which lead to Nixon’s resignation.

President's MenTwo years after the burglary and two months before his resignation, Woodward and Bernstein released their book, All the President’s Men. The book details the investigation by Woodward and Bernstein from the initial reporting of the Watergate burglary to realization that Nixon was involved.

The book names sources, such as Hugh Sloan, who were not identified in their initial articles. It also gives detailed accounts of Woodward’s meeting with “Deep Throat,” whose identity was unknown for 30 years

Woodward promised him that he would never reveal his identity.

mark-felt“Deep Throat” provided them with many tips and important information during their investigation. And like all journalists should do, they always tried to check his information with information other sources had given them.

When using anonymous sources it is important to keep them anonymous. Not doing so could result in a law suit. Also, the information from anonymous sources should be verified. This can be done by talking to other sources.

While anonymous sources are a must in some cases and can prove to be extremely useful, it may not always be the wisest choice.

There have been many cases when news organization used anonymous sources in their reporting and it has backfired. Which is why many, like the Times, are now choosing to use them sparingly.

The Associated Press lists several standards and practices regarding anonymous sources. They list three rules for material provided by anonymous sources:

  1. The material is information and not opinion or speculation, and is vital to the news report.
  2. The information is not available except under the conditions of anonymity imposed by the source.
  3. The source is reliable, and in a position to have accurate information.

Before using an anonymous source, you should always get approval to do so. Also, if the sources is approved, the managing editor must know the identity of the source. The source’s identity must be kept confidential.

Although anonymous sources may not be used as often as they used to be, they are still important in investigative stories, especially those involving politics.

Remember… the Watergate scandal would never have been reported without the use of anonymous sources. Using anonymous sources doesn’t equal to bad reporting. Only use them when it is absolutely necessary to.