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Pulitzer-Winning Journalist: Accusations Of 'Fake News' Hurt Democracy

U.S. Dept of Energy

A Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist with Oregon ties says it’s tough times for both people of color and the press. 

Tonya Alanez  is crime and breaking news reporter with the South Florida Sun Sentinel. She was an editor-in-chief for Lane Community College’s student paper, The Torch, and a 2003 graduate of the University of Oregon

She says the Trump Administration’s routine attacks on the media - including accusations of "fake news" when accounts aren't flattering to the POTUS - are threatening the country’s Free Press and First Amendment rights.  President Trump and his followers often accuse media of being biased against his office and are regularly targeted in both tweets and public remarks, especially at rallies.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Award-winning journalist Tonya Alanez, at KLCC studios.

"I don’t understand when in American history did being questioning and being inquisitive and practicing skepticism made you an enemy of the people,” Alanez told KLCC in an interview. 

As a person of Cowlitz and Mexican-American heritage, Alanez says the current political climate is also hostile for many minorities.

Alanez was in Eugene for several events at LCC and the U of O.  She helped cover the Parkland Shooting in 2018, which netted the Sun Sentinel team a Pulitzer.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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