Veteran journalist Dan Ehrlich speaks to Rio Hondo journalism students


James Tapparo

Left, El Paisano Adviser and journalism instructor John Francis with Dan Ehrlich.

Diego Crespo, Staff Writer

Dan Ehrlich, a journalist in both the United States and United Kingdom, visited Rio Hondo’s journalism and photojournalism classes Nov. 16. The veteran journalist came to talk to the students about a career in journalism and what is expected in this career path.

As a veteran of the journalism career, Ehrlich has a deep understanding of the state of ethics in classic and new age journalism. Whether it’s common courtesy or following an unspoken series of rules, Ehrlich discussed the ethics required for one to maintain journalistic integrity.

The older era of journalism, what Ehrlich referred to as “The Romantic Age” involved a more objective platform for the career field. Specifically the political field requires a non-biased perspective of the reports. With the current political debates and conflicts as we head into the next presidential election, Ehrlich called out the direct issue with Donald Trump and Ben Carson the main focus is based on biased opinions with politicians attempting to point fingers at each other rather than bringing up important facts.

Ehrlich said the modern era of journalism is more accessible to the public than ever now. Nowadays anybody can be considered a journalist if they have access to the internet. It’s as simple as posting on a twitter account and setting up a blog or website for themselves. The difference between calling oneself a journalist and actively practicing journalism is exercising the aforementioned ethics of objectivity expected of a professional.

On a final note, Ehrlich began talking about the difficulties facing the digital side of journalism. From networking to having your work stolen, online journalism is a “wild west” of a career choice.