Work Your Advantage

Here’s an article about how young journalists who embrace Internet media hold an advantage in the workplace over older, less tech-savvy writers, editors and reporters.

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12 responses to “Work Your Advantage

  1. I thought this was a very interesting article in that it talks about journalists as providing this service so to speak, to the world. With the internet being used by more and more people everyday, I find it interesting that I never really thought of journalists as being this sacred provider who looks after the internet and likewise looks to engage readers in various forums in order to be a better internet citizen to produce more quality work. To some degree, I think that my generation has taken the internet for granted and do not realize the wealth of potential that it can offer any one of us someday. The fact that getting online and being fluent in ‘net speak is second nature to generation X is amazing to me. Once we realize the global potential that the internet holds, I believe that we’ll come around and find a niche that works for our own being. ‘Coaching Writers, talked about editors wanting the writer to just be themselves and the internet is a great way to speak in your own voice as well as find a specific audience that you’re great at reaching. (Side-note, the article talks about being ahead of the curve because we were born with the internet, the movie “In Good Company” deals with the advertisement industry changing at a rapid pace and Dennis Quaid’s character having to deal with a changing world. Good movie if you want to see the point of the article visually- what a long aside).

  2. The idea of journalists, especially young journalists, as inventors is inspiring. We are students in an historic time where we can determine what skills we want and how we are going to apply those skills, be it to podcasts, blogs or video.

    One interesting comparison that the web editor of Esquire made during the NY magazine trip was to think about the Internet now that it is 10 years old versus TV when it was 10 years old. TV went from black and white boxes suburbanites were curious about to a fixture in every home. The web is still young and influencing more and more of our daily lives. I’m excited to be a journalist in this era.

  3. This article was interesting to me for two reasons: first, my parents are constantly telling me how lucky I am to have the knowledge of the internet bred into me and secondly, that, like Kyair, I take that completely for granted. Unlike people before our generation, any information we desire is only a click away. And while that has taken away from some of the useful skills (such as learning how to properly navigate a library or an encyclopedia) it has also made us a little lazy. I honestly couldn’t tell you how to write a bibliography, I let easybib.com do it for me. I don’t have the entire A-Z collection of Britannica’s sitting at home, I have google.com. So, while it is wise to praise what the internet does for our society, it is also important to remember that through all of this innovation and adjustment, we have lost some of the personal interaction that comes with actually holding a newspaper in our hands every morning, or having to subscribe to a magazine to read it’s contents, etc…

  4. I was struck by Kuhn’s question to the old-timer editors out there: “Wouldn’t you secretly envy the generation that grew up in the Internet age?” The reason being, I consider my classmates to be the “Internet generation” while I am the old-timer, and my observations from editing class is that everyone (or nearly) is struggling with blogging just like I am. So, to me, this says it has little to with your age and more to do with your desire and access to learning experiences.

    That motivates me to open myself more to learning and seek out opportunities to do so. That bring up a subject we broached earlier—why is Drake not teaching more of these skills we need, and how can universities stay ahead of the curve?

  5. The idea of embracing changes as chances stood out to me in this article. I’ve always loved the aesthetics of printed magazines and, until last year, insisted I wanted to work in print media. But I guess I’ve come to recognize online journalism as a profitable, limitless opportunity. And we’re the generation that gets to make it happen. (Whatever “it” may be.)

    I agree with Heather that SJMC programs should focus more on the Internet. But even without classes, most of us are far more accustomed to the Internet than older journalists are. We understand what kind of writing works best online because we’ve spent so much time reading Web sites. And although we may not know how to add a widget/video/interactive-something to a Web site, we can see the potential. That’s a big advantage.

  6. It’s interesting to see what people of my generation are “expected” to know. While an older writer may be able to get by on his experience (to a lesser extent in today’s news game), If a newbie shows even the slightest hesitation towards troubleshooting on the computer, they are a failure.

    These expectations aren’t baseless, though. Why? As one of my professors puts it, “You kids are digital natives.” We’ve grown up with computers, almost to the point where some of us would scoff at anyone who said a computer is a luxury. So it isn’t at all unreasonable to expect us to be proficient in digital mediums.

    As my classmates have pointed out, journalism schools need to start incorporating internet media. It’s easy to see how, without boundaries, blogging and its ilk can border on libel and worse.

  7. “To me, the biggest challenge facing journalists under 30 is realizing how blessed we are. Because we do not have to “study“ the internet and its consequences. We know about it. The waters are rough, but at least we know we can swim.”

    This article opened my eyes to a brand-new perspective on my duty as a journalist. Like most people commented before me, I didn’t quite realize how much I was taking my internet-saviness for granted.

    Like Katie’s comment, I agree that I held on to the nostalgic perk of having an actual newspaper, magazine, book, etc. in my hands, and insisted that they would never be replaced. But like the article states, it is important to embrace changes as chances. Rather than holding on to the idea of print-media, this article made me realize that it is important to acknowledge the benefits of online-media and the integration that occurs from this.

    As much as I get frustrated from helping my parents send e-mails, ‘google’ things, and in my mind, other juvenile Internet actions, I now realize how lucky I am to have grown up in the generation where these actions are almost innate for me.

  8. I admit that the internet and my computer are two things that I am completely dependent on. When it comes time to write a piece or a research paper the first site I visit is Google.com, not Cowles library. I agree with Leslies statement that we have become somewhat lazy since the creation of the internet. I wish I could be more effecient on my own. But wasn’t the internet created to connect people and make business more efficient? Also, Maggie made a good point about the internet still being relatively young. It’s scary to think of what it will grow to in our lifetime. Right now I have no problem navigating my way on the web. But I realize as it continues to grow, I have to stay on top of things or my knowledge will become outdated, along with the current models of PC’s. The article did a good job of showing this.

  9. Brigitte M. Haugen

    I am grateful to have the knowledge of computer mechanics and processes engrained in me. My parents bought our first computer when I was in 4th or 5th grade. It was just something everyone had. The internet is still a blank slate, a frontier yet to be perfected and conquered, and I believe my generation has the creativity and the courage to do it.

    Reading these articles, as well as everyone’s comments, has inspired me to dive in, forgetting my reluctance. I’ve always been half in and half out. When told it would be in my best interest to get a Mac as a J-student, I ignored the advice and bought an HP Pavilion, having grown up with PC’s all my life. A PC was familiar – I was comfortable. Sadly enough, now I regret that decision, but I am stuck with this lunk of heavy machinery.

    I am interested to learn more about internet journalism, and all other internet media for that matter. I’m excited to play, trial, and error.

  10. I agree with most of the posts here that the Jschool needs to start focusing curriculum on the future. If you think about it, teaching entering freshmen “old” journalism is a waste of time. In four years, this type of media will be vastly different. We need to start thinking ahead and teaching young journalists to be adaptable and flexible–there will be no other way to survive in journalism in a few years.

    I’m like Katie in that print journalism still holds a certain glamour. I, too, understand that I will most likely have to let go of this notion. Online and interactive media are growing rapidly, and print is slowly dying. I am embracing new media and journalism, and I believe all journalism students today should be, too.

  11. I would have to agree completely with Matt, growing up as a member of the “internet generation” can be as much of a curse as it is a blessing. Although many students’ internet expertise doesn’t extend much past Facebook stalking they are still expected to be able to build a website or decode the root cause of ‘Error 23r428.’

    Those discrepancies between expectations of editors and abilities of newly graduated J majors begs the question, are my tuition dollars well spent here or at any other school if the market continues to change so much?

  12. I really liked this article for the fact that it stated all of the opportunities that internet journalism has to offer. As scary as the thought or idea of starting a blog or working solely on the internet may seem, this article made it seem exciting.

    I do agree with Heather though about the comment the article made about how anyone under thirty is the internet savvy generation. I do not find this comment to be true. It is true however that my generation can find its way around facebook and myspace. However, I still feel that we are struggling with blogging in the same way that the “old-timers” do.

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