So this bit on Romenesko caught my eye today:
SPJ’s Neil Ralston says: “I encourage media executives who are looking for the next wave of high-quality journalists to pay attention to the winners. …These young men and women represent some of the best that journalism programs have to offer.”
Being a media executive, I was curious — do these students represent the future of the news business?
The best way to find out is to Google them — what can Google tell us about their online life? Do they have their own web sites? Their own blogs?
Any active online person is going to own his or her own name on Google … and if you’re not active online under your real name, you’re not living up to the journalistic ideals of transparency and honesty.
So, I Googled these winners.
Here’s what I found:
- Meaghan Peters — Several Meaghan Peters in Google. Not clear if any of them are the journalist Meaghan Peters.
- Camden Swita — Shows up as a blogger on Washington.edu. Has a MySpace page (warning — auto play music). Also, several bylines on various sites.
- Claire St. Amant — May have her own web site, but hard to tell. There’s nothing there. Lots of online bylines, but little evidence of blogging. Demerit points should be given for letting the best SEO for your own name go to a Frat Boy News blog (site not work safe in some environments).
- Ryan Kost — Some bylines in Google, but no personal blog I could find. He did blog — if you can call it that (the writing being stiff, traditional reportorial writing) while an intern (that’s a guess) for the Oregonian. If that’s the same Ryan Kost. UPDATE: See note from Ryan at the bottom of the post.
- Jessica Sondgeroth — Again, some bylines. She has what we would think would be a unique name, but I’m not sure the Jessica Sondgeroth on Facebook, who is from Arizona, is the same Jessica Sondgeroth.
- Katherine Harmon — Fairly common name. Not much here for this Katherine Harmon.
- Jeremy Herb — This might be a Jeremy Herb blog. And Jeremy is apparently involved with this news blog.
- Alex Stawinski — Some bylines in Google.
- Sarah Neff —This looks like her blog, and it’s a good one.
- Jared Fields — Not much in Google to tie any thing this Jared Fields.
- CJ Moore — Common name. No evidence of this CJ Moore.
- Mark Viera — Ditto
- Bill Oram — Ditto
- Aaron Zundel — Is at least on LinkedIn. Plenty of online bylines, but no evidence of blogging.
- Petra Hendrickson — Lots of Google hits. Apparently, no blog.
- Phil Hands — Nothing obvious here. Oops. Big mistake on my part. Here’s his site. See his comments below.
- Samuel Ayres — Hire this guy. He owns his name.
- Philip Cannon — Ummmm …
- Jenna Lo Castro — Folks, we have a blogger. First Google result, too. There are not many entries, but, hey, look at the competition.
- Imani Jackson — One byline on the first page of results.
- T.J. Tranchell — This is good, an entirely personal blog. We’ll forgive the fascination with crappy ’80s metal. Lots of hits on his byline, too.
- Brandon Scheller — Is this Brandon? We’re not sure.
- Mark Dent — College byline first hit, then not much.
- Dylan Farmer — This might be Dylan on FB.
I’ll let somebody use Google the non-newspaper writers. Frankly, I’ve grown too discouraged to continue.
So, who do we blame, the students or the journalism programs?
Any students interested in getting it together online, check out Wired Journalists.
UPDATE: Shortly after my blog was hacked and the site went down for several weeks, Ryan Kost sent along this note:
I came across your blog while I was searching for the SPJ press release about the national awards. I haven’t been able to read your entry on the SPJ winners other than the google snippet and the headline. For some reason your site isn’t loading at the moment. In any case, I definitely wouldn’t consider myself super wired, but if you’re interested in editing your blog, I do have a small Web presence. My senior thesis was an online discussion of change (it includes video, soundslides, audio and text) that I created with another student journalist. You can see it here: www,definingchange.net. We haven’t been able to make it too google-able because we created it using only Flash. Still, we’ve been trying to get the word out about it, and any little bit helps! Also, for what it’s worth, I had a Web site up (ryankost.com), but I really hated the layout, so I took down while I’m designing another.
So, Ryan gets extra points for ego surfing and reaching out to demonstrate further what he’s been doing online. I also heard from T.J. Tranchell. And note the previous correction on Phil Hands.