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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

To discuss what I should teach young journalistic minds this week

On Thursday, I'll be speaking to high school kids attending a media conference at my alma mater university.

The topic: Blogging and journalism.

I'll try to drop in what I've learned, whether it's using Twitter for reporting, or writing a reality show blog to attract a different readership/get paid to watch So You Think You Can Dance.

Now, I've already dispensed social media advice to all you in the summer.

The budding journalists I talk to this week can only pray my advice is just as sage when I speak to them.

Since you won't be there, here are some of my possible words of advice:
  1. Don't believe all the hype about "the Internet." People love holding an unwieldy and bulky newspaper. There's something about the lack of Google searchability and timeliness that readers just love. I mean, everyone was doom-and-gloom over postal mail when e-mail invented, and look how that turned out!
  2. Interested in podcasting? Instead of doing clips about the day's hot news topics, try spicing things up. Listeners would much rather hear whether you agree with Esquire magazine naming Kate Beckinsale the sexiest woman alive* than they would about your views on property tax reform. Or, converge the two to get the most listeners. "In a meeting last night, the board members said 'insurance costs have caused us to inflate tax increases.' Speaking of 'caused us to inflate' ... Kate Beckinsale."
  3. Leave the news to the bloggers. Sure, you might say they have limited access to sources, a lack of training on how to write a cohesive, fact-checked story, and a lack of understanding of how news is put together. But their unvalidated opinions still have lots of moxie! And when people get their news, they'll take moxie over accuracy and/or objectiveness anytime.
  4. Use your official newspaper Twitter account to trash talk sources. They won't be mad because you're just being so darn cutting edge using your social media to reach readers. Hey, everyone knows Twitter wasn't popular until news talk shows did feature segments on it. You control fads! While you're at it, young journalist, use your new-found power to bring back Trapper Keepers. They're the shiz!
  5. Petition Facebook to allow you to add attribution to your status updates, so people will know that you verified your state of being. If you tell me you are "in a relationship," I want to know it's "according to my girlfriend." If you are "It's complicated" I want to feel confident that it's "according to my sister's bisexual husband who 'accidentally' felt me up and I kinda liked it but then remember he used to be a she who liked he's and she's but now just she's since he's a he" Attribution, attribution, attribution.
* While I can't disagree in theory- Kate Beckinsale is crazy attractive- doesn't Esquire really mean, "The sexiest white female celebrity actor and/or singer"? It's not like Esquire searched the earth finding the sexiest woman; for instance, my girlfriend, despite being uber-sexy, was not considered. Were any of you?

10 comments:

FunnyGal KAT said...

Sounds good to me! And, as the kids file out of the room, don't forget to be standing by the door to say goodbye to them. But instead of saying goodbye, you should cough and say things at the same time like, "Don't do it!" "You'll be poor forever" and "There's no future in journalism; have you thought about getting a business degree instead because all of my friends who did that are rolling in it while being able to afford Campbell's Soup is a big day for me." (That last one might need to be a seizure rather than a cough).

But enough about me and my bitterness. Good luck with the presentation!

BeckEye said...

Good luck! I hope none of those damn kids make fart noises while you're trying to talk.

Soda and Candy said...

You're so wise!

Also, Capricorn was robbed!

Kellie said...

I can't believe Esquire didn't even give Capricorn (or me!) a chance! How rude.

amindinmotown said...

Actually, this stuff is EXACTLY what you should tell them so people like us can keep our jobs.

Andy said...

KAT- At least you're not bitter, because that would suck.
Beck- Don't blame the kids when we know it's you.
Soda- I'm lobbying for her to win next year.
Kellie- Happened the same way with Maxim giving its title to Olivia Wilde.
Motown- Eh, we'll lose our jobs eventually, anyway. Why not speed up the process?

Amy xxoo said...

I think i could sit through a presentation like that - which should be the measure of any speech given to high school/university students : " Will they at least be able to sit through it without falling asleep ? "

Also, i'd like to think i was considered by Esquire magazine but.... i highly doubt it. Being pregnant probably rules you out from the start, doesnt it ?

kisatrtle said...

moxie over accuracy every time!

Jenners said...

I feel better know that the journalists of tomorrow are learning their stuff from a conscientious and moxie-filled blogger like yourself.

Scandalous Housewife said...

I'd be sure to tell the high school kids to not get all nekkid online. Kids send out semi-nude pics to a "friend" and it gets blasted all over the world.

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