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CNN Reporter Speaks at Bethel

CNN reporter Eugene Scott speaks during a Bethel University Chapel.

Politics reporter Eugene Scott will never forget his first day of work at the major television media outlet CNN—it was the same day Donald Trump declared he was running for president: June 16, 2015. Now a  year into the job, Scott has been covering the 2016 campaign for president, breaking news, and other political stories.

Scott was invited to speak at Bethel University recently as part of the Convocation Series “Transforming Culture.” He spoke at Chapel about how he views mainstream media transforming culture and how it fits with the Christian faith. He also visited journalism classes and attended a special lunch with students.

Scott was raised in Washington, D.C., in a highly political family, he said. He grew up watching the news and was intrigued by the stories he heard, especially when he didn’t think his African-American community was portrayed as accurately as it could be. The stories he saw on the news made it seem like black men could only be athletes or criminals, he said, but he could look at his own community and see many black men who were barbers, pastors, doctors, and other professions. He wanted to know why they weren’t shown on the news.

“I decided to be a journalist and cover multicultural stories,” he said. “I had a desire to transform culture through the media. How does one do that? For me, it is through storytelling. And one of the best storytellers out there is Jesus Christ.” Scott used the story of the Good Samaritan in the Gospel of Luke as an example of how Jesus tried to motivate people to transform culture. “Through this story, Jesus Christ attempted to challenge His listeners, and future generations, about who is our neighbor.”

Scott understands that in many circles, the mainstream media is not very popular today because many people don’t see their world reflected accurately, just like he didn’t as a child. “What can you do?,” he asked the Chapel audience. “You vote with every single click. You vote with your retweets, you vote with your likes. Contact the journalists when you think they’ve covered something poorly or when they’ve covered something well.”

He ended by challenging students, saying, “Together we can transform culture to what it could be and should be at its best.”

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