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Kristi Gustafson Barlette speaking with Columbia High School journalism students.

Times Union features writer and prominent blogger Kristi Gustafson Barlette speaking with Columbia High School journalism students.

Columbia High School journalism students learned about developing stories and the power of social media from Times Union features writer and prominent blogger Kristi Gustafson Barlette on January 3.

One of the topics that Mrs. Barlette discussed was the importance of using expert sources to give credibility to a story.

“You need an expert voice. You can’t just throw something out there and say it’s fact and because you believe it’s fact,” said Mrs. Barlette. “Someone is always going to claim that your story is fake or biased but one of the ways to get around that is to have really strong voices that support your story’s subject, and that’s an expert voice who has a great reputation in their field. Even one quote from them can strengthen the story immensely because it’s now not just you, it’s not falling on you, that person can support the story.”

Mrs. Barlette’s appearance was the latest in a series of guest speakers for journalism students that has included News10 Anchor Samantha DiMascio, East Greenbush CSD Public Information Specialist Mark Adam and Albany Business Review Editors Melissa Mangini and Mike Hendricks.

“Having guest speakers offers students the opportunity to hear about the various educational and professional experiences of those individuals who have chosen journalism as a profession,” said English teacher Meagan Asenbauer who teaches the Journalism class. “Often students may not be familiar with the various pathways and professions people may choose that have to do with writing in different forms. I’ve been fortunate this semester to have had enthusiastic guest speakers who offer honest reflections of their experiences within their professions.”