‘Today Show’s’ Sheinelle Jones Comments on the Media’s Responsibility to High-Profile Figures Like Meghan Markle
Sheinelle Jones, co-host of the Today Show’s third hour and Weekend Today, has a lot to juggle with her early morning wake-up calls and her three young children – a 9-year-old and 6-year-old twins.
With working on such high-profile programs, Jones has learned to place a priority on journalistic integrity. She recently commented on the significant responsibility members of the media have in today’s constant and controversial news cycle.
Reporting on Markle
ITV news released a clip on October 19 from an upcoming documentary which showed Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, commenting on the challenges she’s facing as a new mom in an unprecedented spotlight. The documentary entitled Harry & Meghan: An African Journey will be released in the UK on Sunday, according to CNN.
It’s no secret that the young royal has been the subject of countless tabloids, eyeing her every move and digging up her personal information in order to make headlines. Jones has her own thoughts on the media’s treatment of high-profile people and the responsibility of news outlets to report factually and fairly.
“You can only control what comes out of your mouth and the energy that comes out of you. I can’t be responsible for what a journalist across the street does or in another country, but I can be responsible for the energy that I contribute to it,” Jones told SheKnows in May, shortly after Markle welcomed her son Archie.
The journalist brought up Markle’s first appearance after giving birth to her first child with Prince Harry, and how the new mother needed be treated with sensitivity. “[The day Baby Archie made his debut], I made sure to say, ‘You know what? She looks like a glowing mom who just had a baby. She’s a little swollen, she just looks like she wants to stop talking to us and hold that baby,’” Jones shared.
The Weekend Today anchor stressed the importance of highlighting positive messages when reporting rather than heaping on criticism and gossip. “You just send out positive vibes,” Jones advised. “I think if we can each just take a moment to be responsible for what comes out of our mouths, what comes out of our fingers when we type, we’ll get a lot further and I think we can overpower the negativity.”
Jones feels that those with strong journalistic integrity can win out over the slander that often gets splashed on magazine covers. “I think we can overpower the media that’s a little nasty. There are enough of us — there are enough talented writers and women who understand what she’s going through, so we can overcome all the negativity,” Jones said, referring to Markle’s challenges of dealing with the media.
The Today co-host tries to set an example for other journalists by being an ethical reporter. “I can’t be responsible for this larger abstract ‘the media,’ I know that’s not who I am. I know that when I go home at night, I said nothing that I can’t go to sleep with.”
When she comes under fire
Being a television personality on a top-rated network news program, Jones can sometimes get her own share of negativity from the public, especially when dealing with mom-shaming on social media.
The journalist credits having a strong sense of self and living authentically as the best solution for those who choose to spew insults. “If you project reality and if you’re authentic, it takes the sting out of it a little bit,” Jones revealed. “Trolls are more likely to attack when they smell like somebody’s insincere. So for me, frankly, you can’t tell me anything about myself that I don’t already know.”