Posted on March 21st, 2007 No comments
I proudly sit on the advisory board for the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication — my alma mater, in addition to that of my father (but for him math, not journalism).
Since I live near the school, I often get invited to talk to students. This time I decided to throw out the Powerpoint and simply discuss the role of the future journalist, illustrated with examples of what the Californian is doing today. Following are the notes I used and sent to the students afterwards. It’s a little stream of consciousness, but also kind of fun! Think of it as a Web Safari through the most interesting things happening in Bakersfield today.
The Role of the Journalist in a Participatory, Multimedia World
Your job as a journalist is more than just to tell stories. Think of yourself as the glue of your local community. When you think of things that way, listening and watching are just as important as talking, and in many ways even moreso.
These are the unmet needs that tomorrow’s journalists must become the masters at meeting:
1. Be the eyes and ears of your local community.
Through text, audio, video and more
2. Provide the water cooler — “News is what people are talking about”
3. Provide the new town square
Examples: User contributed content on:
4. Provide the new third space
Bakotopia helps people meet, connect, share
Local bands can build a local following for free
5. Track the community pulse — what do people care about today?
6. Provide the most trusted information possible, leveraging the collective knowledge of your community.
Example: What are the best restaurants in town, and what kind of experiences have other people had there?
Local media — newspapers, TV, radio — have always filled these needs in different ways. The Internet takes it to a new level, and there are many others out there who not only can do it better, but already are. It’s time to beat the competition.
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