I knew the risks in 2011 when I went to work for a company owned by hedge funds. And I knew the risks in 2012 when I turned down an attractive offer from a family-owned newspaper company to stay with the company owned by hedge funds.
All this makes the j-school students I teach, the journalists of the future, nervous.
Journalism is an art that requires practice. I tell students it is a muscle, and like athletes they are training.
Yes, this means endless writing, but it also means feeding the curiosity that comes so naturally to all journalists. You wake up with questions, ask more questions throughout the day and even when you drag your sorry self to bed… still, more questions.
Learning more about where you live, and the people who make up your city is a way to start answering these questions.
At the same time, journalists are always curious about new tools to find and tell sotries.
The training in journalism never ends – reporters who have been in the business more than a decade will remember ‘training days/courses’ (I was once sent on a fabulous week-long course in D.C. called ‘Managing the 24/7 newsroom’ at the American Press Institute).
These days, however, skills are self-taught, or learned through support networks with colleagues who have figured out something new and are willing to pass along the knowledge.
When I ask journalists (and communications professionals) what they’d like to learn next, they often tell me they’d like to become more comfortable with ‘Big data.’ To them I say, roll up your sleeves and get started. It’s time to work some muscle. You have to just do it. (Getting comfortable with spreadsheets is a start.)
It has taken me a couple of weeks to write this post. No, scratch that. This has been years in the making.
I need to begin by stating that I recognize the importance of the NNAs – some have dubbed them “Canada’s Pulitzer Prize” (this kind of identifying through comparison with our American neighbours makes me cringe.)
The Michener Awards annually recognize journalism excellence in the name of public service in Canada. It was a huge honour to receive this Fellowship, which was presented on behalf of the Foundation by Governor General David Johnston.
I’ve been hearing a lot about platform strategy in the news business lately, and I think before we create a strategy, we need to look at how people are using these devices to consume news – including what they want, and when they want it.
A funny thing happened during my Michener-Deacon research in Manitoba. Leonard Asper, CEO of failed Canwest stopped by the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe to talk about the end of the company. I decided to pause academic research and live tweet it.
This is an I-love-technology piece, gird yourselves accordingly.
Fourteen years ago, as a journalism student, I recorded a lot of audio.
This set up (pictured left), included the latest technology: a smallish cassette recorder, and a giant ice-cream-cone-shaped microphone.
I was set. I recorded ‘tape’ of interviews for assignments, and eventually did a 30-minute radio documentary about women journalists working on Parliament Hill from 1966 – 1996. (Note to self: Find and digitize, some big names on there).
In my first year of journalism school, we were taught to edit tape using an Ampex, razors and tape. I’m not making this up.
I got a lot of reaction after a mom reached out to me via LinkedIn looking to get her son, a journalism student, a summer job in our newsroom. (A few people suggested I hire the mom for her social media savvy.)
Sadly, it appears this isn’t the only student with parents more than keen to help.