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Diana

Fuentes

Diana Fuentes, deputy metro editor of the San Antonio Express-News, told

students at Baylor University that she has almost gone to jail on several occasions
for exposing confidential information that she believed was necessary for the public
to know.

In a packed auditorium on Tuesday evening, Fuentes told a room of

approximately 300 Baylor students and faculty, that deciding who should have
access to what information takes away from public rights.

We are the eyes and the ears of the public, thats what journalism is, said

Fuentes. Anything that we get should be put out in the public.


Fuentes touched on the subject of citizen journalism, the idea that everyone

can be a journalist. She explained how bittersweet it is that anyone can post on the
Internet. Citizen journalism has created controversy in the media world by deeming
them invalid journalists.

Adjunct Instructor for the Baylor University Department of Journalism,

Public Relations and New Media, Kristin Zastoupil, expressed her disagreements
with Fuentes. Where Fuentes said that only someone who makes a living off of
journalism is considered a journalist, Zastoupil believed anyone who writes could be
one.

I think its all in gathering information and making sure its accurate and

trying to get it out to the public, said Zastoupil. There may be students out there
who can barely make a living and you can still call yourself a journalist.

Fuentes, President of the Texas Freedom of Information Foundation,

advocated that the public has the right to freedom of information. Anything directly
relating to the public is justifiably open for public knowledge.

Everything should be a part of public record, said Fuentes. Even leaked

information is fair if the public needs to know. Its a case-by-case thing.


Baylor University Senior Lecturer of Journalism, Brad Owens, talked to

students about citizen journalism and what should be put out in the open. He
explained that he does not like the idea of someone disrespecting a piece of work or
a journalist because they may not work for a major news outlet.

One of the things professional journalists will say negatively and critically of

citizen journalists is they are just aggregated, just refreshing the same old stuff, said
Owens. I also dont like the idea of the government deciding who is a journalist and
who is not. I dont think that that is their business.

Towards the end of her discussion, Fuentes explained her belief that once

anything/anyone is in the public eye where people gather information, they are in
the public domain.

We have laws on the public misusing information. I dont think we should

put a crip on public information because we are afraid of what is going to happen,
said Fuentes. I think once you are in the public eye you are fair game."