by Tiffany Payton
Journalist at NBC News and DePaul alumna, Chloe Atkins, has always had a love for writing. But Atkins notes, that this “road to success” was nontraditional and “not as glamourous as everyone thinks.”
Atkins currently covers abortion access and breaking news. Atkins’ wide array of storytelling began during her time as a college student. She started her career as a fashion and women’s health writer at Vogue and credits her time at DePaul as what shaped her into the reporter she is today.
“For me, during my experience, the professors at DePaul were so gracious to those who wanted to learn. This business is all about learning. Just when you think you know, you don’t. I try to keep that same inquisitiveness with every story I’m on. It’s a part of it.”
During her time at Vogue, Atkins pushed out stories every day under tight deadlines. Atkins would begin her day talking to activists, women, and reproduction experts on both sides of her story. Those connections with Vogue helped her cover the abortion care debate in America by understanding how to cover a topic that encompasses many oppositional voices. Today, she covers abortion access at a critical juncture with the possible overturning by the U.S. Supreme Court of the landmark legal decision of Roe vs. Wade.
Topics of women’s health can be daunting when you’re a woman reporting it because it affects you directly. There are two very different sides to the abortion debate and Atkins says she reports the truth “no matter what.”
“At the end of the day, a job of a journalist is to stand on the truth and include a variety of opinions,” Atkins said. “Everyone will have an opinion. Your job is to include these opinions, but fact-check everything you get from a source and report. You cannot weigh your personal feelings in your reporting. The truth and the truth only,” Atkins added.
Truth-telling is the heartbeat of journalism, our audiences trust us to do just that. “If someone tells you it’s raining, as a journalist, you can’t just believe it’s raining. You have to go outside and check to see if it’s raining,” Atkins remarked.
As a journalist, there’s no limit to what you’re going to report on, but you must do it. “That’s your duty. You can’t get too emotionally involved in a story. Truth-telling is not about emotion, it’s about the truth and what affects the general public.”
Atkins stresses how crucial objective reporting is, and how you must balance your personal life with that. “Don’t get involved in a story because it can affect you. As reporters, we all have stories to tell, but audiences, do not have the same experiences and that’s important so you must be cognizant of that. But regardless of how someone personally feels, each day you go home you will feel great that you told the story in truth.”
The truth in storytelling should always enable the reader to fully understand all the information and facts as well as opposing sides of any story. The truth is what the audience deserves and that’s how you build trust with your audience. You cannot build trust without the truth.