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:
- 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!
- 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."
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.