Entries from October 2009 ↓

Let’s get real

For the sixth year, I’m holding a gathering to bring Mizzou j-school alumni together with current students. It’s a chance for our professionals to share the lessons they’ve learned when they transitioned out of the Mizzou newsrooms and into new ones. Many of our grads are also finding alternative jobs that let them use the skills they’ve gained. So this year I’m hoping we’ll have a HUGE mix of skills represented. We always have great conversations. We always eat pizza from Shakespeares.

The gathering used to include three or four alumni and we’d hang out in a small room at KOMU-TV. This year we’re holding the event in a large room in the Reynolds Alumni Center. So I figured – why not turn the event up another notch. Let’s live blog it.

So I’m inviting students to give live blogging a try during the event. They’re new to this – but that’s why I try to find these kinds of opportunities. So I’m inviting alumni who are unable to attend to check this live blog out and please contribute to the event by sharing and commenting on this live blog. I hope to put the blog up on a screen behind the speakers so we can keep up with the conversations. I’m also going to use the twitter hashtag: #realworld

So join on in if you’d like:

Click Here

Let’s keep learning

I spend a lot of time talking. I spend a lot of time teaching. I spend even more time managing a newsroom these days.

Since returning to the newsroom full time after my stint as a Reynolds Journalism Institute fellow, I’ve learned it’s so hard to do things really well when I desperately want to change newsroom functions. I need to provide guidance to my reporters on so many levels. They need to cover legitimate local news. They need to find ways to deliver the information they’re gathering throughout they day. They also need to cover that information in on air newscasts. What is the priority? In my view, it should be online and online properties. But for many people who work in my newsroom, the newscasts are still getting priority. Why? Because I’m working in a traditional newsroom. No matter what, our major product is currently newscasts. I’m striving to transform and improve the many other alternate (and in my world more important) information outlets inside web and mobile tools. Growing pains.

I stood in front of a class today and admitted I don’t know everything. I told them that I’m still learning and that’s why I expect them to continue to learn. I am trying to be open minded. I want them to be open minded.

Journalists in this transformational age need to be open minded. Anyone who manages information or communication needs to be open minded.

So instead of spending non-stop time talking about what is going wrong, let’s focus on learning, listening and watching how people are communicating and ingesting information. Just watching can go a long way. Just experimenting can go a long way. Deciding new ideas are not worth trying just because it hasn’t been perfected is close-minded. Let’s keep learning and maybe, just maybe I’ll feel like I’m making a difference as I’m in the thick of my current newsroom absorption.