Dr. Jerry Johnston Interviews Lynne Jordal Martin

07 May 2019

 

 

Lynne Jordal Martin, senior opinion editor of Fox News, draws from her decades of experience in television, including more than 17 years at Fox. She shares her reflections on the importance of thinking with a balanced perspective and enjoying life.

 

Jerry Johnston, VP of Innovation and Strategic Marketing for Houston Baptist University, visited with Lynne Jordal Martin, senior opinion editor of Fox News. The two discussed the 24-hour news cycle and the convergence of news and social media.

In the years since she was on the staff of CBS News, Martin has witnessed a rapid expansion of media providers beyond the “big three” that dominated the American news realm for many years.

“Now there’s an unlimited menu — a giant smorgasbord of media,” she says. “And if 60 percent of Americans are getting some of their news from social media, those (channels) are media companies too.”

As overseer of the opinion section for the station with one of the largest audiences on cable TV, Martin seeks to find and promote pieces that come from an informed, thoughtful perspective, and that offer a counterbalance to dominant voices among the noisemakers in media.

“I think that people see a story that maybe is not from a very reputable source, and they believe every word,” she says. “My goal is that people think a little bit before they react and make judgments based upon one source and one story.”

Not only have media organizations and conduits increased, the way in which news is disseminated has grown in complexity as well. Outlets like Fox increasingly rely upon software algorithms, search engine optimization tactics and analytics to determine direction for decisions ranging from article headlines to story placement.

“It’s a bit of a dance. You want to be creative for a real human, but you also have to please the machine,” Martin explains. “The future of our whole business is digital.”

Martin shares her reflections on the importance of thinking with a balanced perspective.

“My feeling is that, in this very competitive, overheated media market we are in, discernment is necessary,” she said. “News is much like food. We can’t swallow it whole. We need to savor it, chew it, and taste it. When you read a story, you need to understand context and understand the story.”

As she has matured in her career, Martin says she has learned to work less, not more, cherishing moments with her family and volunteering. She serves as a mentor with Education for Ministry, a theological study program which deepens participants’ understanding of the Christian faith.

“I feel so blessed that I can lead this life,” she says.