Student Journalists reluctant to change; New Media is on the backburner

November 5, 2008

I spent the past week in Kansas City, MO attending the ACP/CMA Convention, a collegiate media conference. As the publisher of The Quinnipiac Chronicle and a new media junkie, I was excited to learn about the new and exciting things that college journalists were coming up with. I took it upon myself to attend as many New Media sessions as possible. I could not have been more disappointed.

On a lighter note, the two best things to come out of this conference were the keynotes by Rich Beckman, a professor at the University of Miami School of Communication and Mark Glaser, Executive Editor of PBS’ MediaShift blog. I got a short clip from Mark Glaser as he was talking about consumers taking control of their media that you can see below.

So back to journalists and their thoughts on new media. Once again, I have to stress my disappointment in the sessions and presenters that were brought in to speak to the attendees of this conference. In an age where new media is becoming mainstream, one would think that experts would be brought in to teach the future leaders of the journalistic world how to use these new and emerging technologies. Instead, the presenters were college students with little experience or advisors who have not used these technologies much before this point in time.

One of the major themes of the conference was the idea that traditional media and journalism are obsolete. After talking to many students and advisers, as well as my own staff members who attended, it seems to me that people are very afraid that their jobs may be in jeopardy because of this shift in technology. I have asked many people why they are so afraid to adopt these new ideas, and one person recently responded, “I went to school for four years to learn how to be a writer, not so I can learn to edit video and make slide shows.” This is a pretty powerful statement in two ways. First, it shows the reluctance to change due to fear of the unknown. Second, it shows that students are not yet receiving the proper training and education that is needed to become a successful journalist. A journalism student who is not being taught how to write, edit video and create multimedia stories is like an orthopedic surgeon going to school and never learning how to operate on a knee.

Another trend that was talked about extensively over the week was media convergence. If the state of the industry dictates that journalists must be well versed in multimedia, then journalists should be working with the video staffs and audio staffs at their schools. There is no resource that is more valuable than your peers that often work in the same building, if not only on the same campus. These students know how to operate cameras, they know how to edit video and audio. Take advantage of their knowledge and skills, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. You can even assign stories to a “multimedia” staff that is comprised of writers, videographers and sound technicians and then let all departments involved use the piece for their own organization.

Basically, I am trying to say that the times are changing, and students need to recognize this and adapt to these changes. I realize that change is not always easy, but it is almost always necessary. So don’t be afraid to try something different. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. As the entrepreneur in me would say, fail fast and fail often, because the faster you can make these changes in your organization, the faster you can gain an advantage over other college media organizations and be recognized as one of the leaders in your field.

As always, let me know what you think. Do you think that journalism as we know it is changing? If so, Have you adapted?


Shift Happens

September 6, 2008

I was recently made aware of this video in one of my design classes. It really struck a chord with me because I am constantly amazed at the amount of information and technology that we are bombarded with every day. This video really was able to put a lot of that into perspective for me. Check it out…

I know that it’s a bit outdated, but I found it very interesting. What does it mean for us? I’m not too sure yet, but I do know that the thought of a $1,000 computer with the computational power greater than that of the entire human race is pretty cool … or scary.

Let me know what you think.

Happy Blog Day!

August 31, 2008

After seeing a tweet by @chrisbrogan about Blog Day, I thought it would be a great idea to join in the fun and let everyone know what I like to read and hopefully be able to give someone an opportunity to find something new and interesting. So here it is, the list of my five favorite blogs:

1) The Social Times – A great blog about all things social, written by Nick O’Neill. There are some pretty great posts in there, and I think he always has a great view on what he writes about.

2) How to Change the World – The musings of Guy Kawasaki. It’s always great to read what he has to say, no matter the subject.

3) How to Split an Atom – This is a well-written blog that has some really interesting stuff and ideas. Definitely worth checking out.

4) – If you’re not sure how you can utilize social media for businesses and organizations, then this is the guy for you. There is always tons of quality info written by Chris, and I’d say it’s one of my top resources for working with businesses and social media.

5) Mashable – This is great for getting the scoop on the social networking industry. Never leave home without it.

So there you have it, my top 5 most read blogs. Let me know what you’re into … I’m always into learning something new!

How Does Social Media Affect You?

August 19, 2008

While many people have already realized the benefits of social media and social utilities, there are still many others who have not yet realized how it can help them or even that there are real uses for it. Sometimes it amazes me to see these differences in the population when some people utilize tools and others refuse to try.

While I do see the great aspects of an online life, I also see why people may not be as enthusiastic about the industry. There is a definite lack of privacy and unless you know what you are really looking for, there can be an information overload. I’ve managed to get past the negative aspects to find the following ways that social media has managed to benefit me:

Information: Being connected to hundreds of people online via Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn has led to many question and answer sessions with my connections. It is a great way to find people with a lot of knowledge in a specific area instead of trying to Google the answer to an obscure question.

Connections: Social media led to a great job over the past few months, and hopefully it will allow me to continue in that field in the future.

Ability to voice opinions: The internet is not just a one-way street anymore. Anyone who has an opinion can share it with the masses, and it has allowed me to have my own voice and share my opinions.

Fun: When all else fails, the internet is always a great place to unwind and have some fun. Social gaming has always been a favorite of mine, and it is a great way to connect with more people that share your interests and passions.

The key to social media is that there are infinite ways to make it work for you. So I pose the question – how do you utilize social media? What aspects do you like or dislike? Do you use it for work or play, to learn or to share? I’m very interested to study what others think about the subject. Let me know!

Revision3 Misses Big Time for WLTV

July 10, 2008

I was excited tonight when I checked Twitter to see that Wine Library TV‘s 500th episode was streaming live on Revision3. Everything was going great, I got to see Gary trash talk some 49ers fans, heckle a man for not drinking the featured wine, and swear a couple of times. Then it happened.

Connection lost.

I’ve been waiting for the feed to reconnect for about 20 minutes now, and from all the chatter in the chat room I can see that I’m not alone. As one of the guests wrote, “Wow. Total failure at this point”.

I would have thought by now that companies would have figured out that if you’re going to have a huge audience, you should be able to handle the traffic. Unfortunately scaling isn’t high on anyone’s priority list lately (ahem *Twitter). Hopefully someone will figure it out soon.

Did anyone get to watch the episode live? Let me know how it was.

Information Overload

July 2, 2008

I have recently been absent from the blogging scene due to some life changes. New job (which is great), lots of travel (which is not so great), and a big move. Now that I have come back to reality, I am finding more and more that there is way too much information and news for any one person to follow on any given day. Whether it is sports, world, financial, or technology (my personal favorite), how can someone keep up?

There are a lot of news aggregators out there. I use Bloglines to get my daily fix. Recently, though, I have found myself clicking the “Mark All Read” button fairly often. Is it because I don’t like the stories that I am reading? No, not usually. The problem that I am beginning to see is redundancy.

How many times have you looked through your news feeds to see the same story three, four or even five times in different places? Way too many, I say.

So how can we solve this? Is anyone else seeing the same thing? I love to read about almost everything, but it seems that this industry has just become a pool of copycats trying to churn out the stories fast and furious. Is that what we have become?

How about we start focusing on quality and not quantity. I’m sure it would be better for all involved.

How do you feel about information overload and redundancy? Let me know.

A thought on Enthusiasm

June 22, 2008

In the midst of starting several new projects and working with a new company, I’m learning that there is one thing that is going to get you farther than someone, or anyone, else. Straight up enthusiasm. Love it, own it, think about it, put everything into it. Research, write, draw … anything that keeps you going. If you are enthusiastic in it and believe that you can succeed, you will.