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.