It’s been quite a year for journalism. It’s been scary at times, aggrevating at times and there have been some glimmers of hope for future success. I don’t feel like the same person who started 2008 and who ends it now, and I bet you don’t either.
A year ago, I issued a call for ink-stained print journalists to put some effort into learning a little more about how the wired world works by immersing themselves in some of the tools and techniquest of the web.
The post stirred a lot of conversation, but I only heard from a couple of reporters who were taking on the MBO program. I’ve not heard back on progress from any of them in months.
Editors John Robinson in Greensboro and Linda Grist Cunningham in Rockford set up similar programs for their newsrooms. Robinson, I know, rewarded at least two staff members for completing his list of “get wired” goals.
Out of the post also came the birth of Wired Journalists, which has grown into a tremendous resource for journalists looking to hone their online skills. If you find Wired Journalists useful, be sure to thank Ryan Sholin and Zac Echola. They’ve done a great job with the site.
Just now I got an e-mail from Paula Froke at AP who did not contact me in January, but has done an admirable job of working through the list of tasks. Read her post on her accomplishments. Her progress report isn’t a mere check list of items completed but show her to be an admirable type of person: She often went beyond the basic tasks and stretched herself to learn new skills.
Whether for the MBO program or not, feel free to leave a comment about what you learned about online journalism in 2008.
I learned a great deal about online journalism in 2008, everything from what makes a good video story to how to build online communities. I learned some things in the classroom, but a great deal came from my work as editor of The Miami Hurricane last year and from what I learned on my own.
One thing I think is important to realize is that this is a constant learning process. You can never know all there is to know about online journalism.
Also, that being a good online journalist is more than just knowing the tools and software — it’s about what you do with them.
Thanks to Howard for his post and all the good that came from it (Wired Journalists in particular). I know it helped reinforce the direction I’d been moving in with online journalism.
Happy new year!
I’m pleased that I’m about to log in my 3rd “graduate.” I’m not pleased that I only got 3 of about 90 people eligible. It saddens me about the state of the learning newsroom. 2009 moves past “encouragement” and into “requirements.”
I’ve learned that there is a little truth to each side of the ‘future of journalism’ debate; and that to be competitive with the rise of free content, we have to be versatile in multimedia, flexible about our paradigms and ruthless about our ethics.
While I enthusiastically embrace learning new technologies and honing traditional leather-shoe reporting skills, what’s missing from much of the discussion is how new j-business models can generate revenue.
We act like earning a living from our work and expecting people to pay for it is unethical.
BS! News is my passion — it’s not a hobby. I have no shame about insisting I get paid.
I hope in 2009 the discussion moves past whether new and old medias can coexist and we get on with re-establishing our value, as a profession, with our consumers.
And I hope we start finding some real solutions to the compensation issue.
Yesterday I got one note from a 50-year-old colleague asking me how to get started, and another from a colleague around the same age saying he could never do any of this. I’m sending Howard’s 2008 goals to both and telling them to start there, along with beatblogging.org and patthorntonfiles.com. And I’ve finally compiled my own 2008 goals:
Happy New Year!
[…] : And in the comments, Howard Owens adds WiredJournalists.com, which he blogs about here. […]