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Central California Life Magazine

Central California Talks Politics with Ann Compton

Jan 22, 2016 11:29PM ● By Tamar Karkazian

 When an award-winning journalist with 41 years of experience visits the Central Valley, it’s best to listen and take in the knowledge she shares. That is exactly what the local community did on January 20, 2016 when Ann Compton, former ABC News White House correspondent, spoke at San Joaquin Valley Town Hall.

Humorous and candid, Compton not only shared her interactions with various presidents over the years, her experience as the only broadcast journalist on board Airforce One on 9/11, but Compton also gave great insight and advice about politics and media today. Here are three of Compton’s political tips:

GET THE NEWS YOU NEED, NOT JUST WANT:  With the rise of Fox News, MSNBC and CNN, citizens expect news on demand, from sources within their comfort zones. Compton shared that while this is understandable, it is important to look for accurate, unbiased information. Each morning, Compton gets her news from these three sources: The Drudge ReportReal Clear Politics; and Politico.

MEDIA MEANS ACCOUNTABILITY:  Compton shared her concern about how politicians are starting to shut the media out. She explained that media coverage of politics holds the government accountable and that media coverage is the right of the citizens.

EVERYONE IS A JOURNALIST: In the 21st century, everyone has the tools necessary to be a journalist. Thanks to smartphones and social media, individuals can capture eyewitness accounts via their smartphone cameras and publish these accounts via social media postings.

Compton also warned about the lack of accuracy. Ethics in journalism has declined because of this access; people do not always check their facts before posting.

With a political year upon us, it is befitting to take Ann Compton’s advice. We were honored to hear her take on politics and how to stay informed. For future San Joaquin Valley Town Hall Lectures please visit their website at