State of Journalism a Wild West

Digital journalism is the present and the future. The pioneer age of the modern news media began with the invention of the Internet and trends that have become popular in the last decade, such as social media: Facebook, Twitter, MySpace…and on and on and on. But where is it all headed?

We discussed in my graduate journalism class a news site launched recently that incorporated various trends of this pioneer age. It seems that those sites that are willing to take risks and be open to feedback, are the ones that are going to survive. This particular site pulls much information from a partnership they have with a local television and radio station. It also has a link to a wide blog community made up of people from all different fields. Will this model be successful?

It is interesting to be training to become a journalist in this everchanging field. With the Internet, this profession has changed more in the last 20 years than it has in the last 100…and it seems like its never going to stop. It’s like living in the Wild West, you don’t know what’s coming next and the person that finds the gold mine will become the leader of the land. But until then journalists will continue living in this uncertain, yet thrilling time…trying out different things and wondering what will happen next.

Image source: http://blog.modernmechanix.com/2007/04/07/where-wild-west-is-still-seen-every-day/. Popular Mechanics Magazine, March 1924.

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A Visit to the Newseum, an inspiration for a journalist-to-be

Visiting the Newseum yesterday in downtown D.C. capitalized on why I want to be a journalist. The Newseum located a few blocks from the Capitol building, is literally a living history of news. It is six stories, and starts with a collection of daily front pages of more than 80 newspapers throughout the world. An interactive living timeline tells us how journalism evolved from oral story telling, to the printing press, to today’s social media. There are numerous collections and galleries, such as the Pulitzer Prize winning photographs, a 9/11 Gallery with all the world’s major newspaper headlines from that day, and various other exhibits.

Of the many quotes engraved in the building, one particularly stands out in my mind.

“Journalism is the first draft of history.”

These are the words of Philip Graham, co-owner and publisher of The Washington Post from the late 1940s to his death in 1963.

I never thought of how much impact the work of today’s professionals’ plays on our history tomorrow. Newspapers, magazines, television, radio have the first records of the world’s major events. They not only tell the story, but preserve it for generations, so that history feels like it is still alive through the print headlines and broadcasters’ voices that we still remember.

A Journalists Memorial, to all those who have died while on assignment, is part of the Newseum. We often take advantage of the news that comes to us from the most dangerous places in  the world. It is chilling and at the same time inspirational to know that journalists voluntarily run towards danger, such as war or natural disaster to tell the story to the world.

Journalists have to “Like to Move It”

To say a journalist’s world is fast-paced would be an understatement. For some reason the song “I Like to Move It” came to my mind as I was thinking about this. While the 1994 hit single has different connotations, the words ring true to the journalism profession. You have to like to “move it.” You have to be locked and ready to go to that breaking news scene, get quick soundbytes and footage (b-roll), rush back to the station, write your script, edit and be ready to go for the six o’clock newscast. And of course you cannot control when the story breaks…it would be nice if it happened at 9 a.m., so you would have plenty of time to get it done, but that most of the time is not the case. And that is what makes the journalism profession so exciting. It’s the adrenaline rush mixed with stress, worry and then jubilation as your story makes the evening newscast.

And just for fun…
the song:

What I love about living in America

There are many people who criticize this country, but it still is and I think will always be a place that people strive to come to. I believe in the American Dream. I believe that with hard work and dedication, one will achieve his goals. The opportunity for success and a good lifestyle that this country provides is unparallel, to I think, any other in the world. There is gold here, one just has to find the location, and start digging. Digging hard.

Passion.
There will be obstacles and unpredicted events, but for me personally this is the one thing that will keep me going. Once you have found your goal, your dream, you have to follow it through to the end. You have to keep your fire burning, because if you extinguish it, you will regret it for the rest of your life.

I know that I can achieve my dreams. I know that, because I believe that. And it all starts with a belief, a vision. I hope you find your vision.