Mar 10, 2009

San Diego reflections

I was fortunate to attend the Associated Collegiate Press National College Journalism Convention conference and here's what I've learned.

1. there are a lot of other college aged and not college aged journalists worried about the future of the industry we've just spent at least one academic year working toward. nothing calms quicker than realizing you are not alone.

2.   old dogs can learn new tricks. and they are learning them fast.  of the sessions on multimedia i attended, the professional journalists were not young kids fresh out of college.  rather, they were seasoned veterans weathering the shift from print to online newspapers. i thought this spoke highly of how important it is, in journalism to learn on your feet.  i doubt these guys had to consider the ins and outs of Final Cut when the first started but they do now and they can speak with clear confidence on the issue. i hope to be that confident twenty years from now when discussing the latest technological development

3. a good website takes work. we've inherited a less than pretty website at TNH but we're looking to change that.  so when i sat in the website critique, pen in hand, i hoped for a page, maybe two of tips for improvement.  I walked out with six, count 'em, six pages of do's and don't's on the art of online. its like looking at a river, saying 'oh, that's not to bad. betcha i can get across in a few minutes.' then you jump in and suddenly you're fighting the Mississippi.  but looking at number 2 from above, we're getting through.  i now know more about html code than i did after a semester of studying it.  hmm

4. WE HAVE A FUTURE!  one of the best keynote speakers, Andrew Donahue of the local made it very clear that a free press is an important and appreciated niche in society. it is just a matter of adapting, be it mastering twitter where a front page tease when a front page tease would have sufficed or using pictures where words would have dominated years ago.  

"This is a tremendous era of efficiency and innovation," Donahue said. "And we need to be original." 

We need to be think outside the box today to ensure the continuation of good journalism tomorrow.  c'mon doesn't that give ya goosebumps?

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