Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Future of Journalism – What Does it Look Like? USC II

I’m currently exhausted. I spent today at USC’s School of Journalism where I gave a quick presentation along with other notable people (see p.s.).

USC Presentation

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

The school itself, under the leadership of Geneva Overholser, seems ripe and ready for change. I interviewed Geneva back in May. Here I am making good on the promise to keep an eye on her progress.

The inner academic in me is actually very interested/concerned about this issue of journalism education. As I note in my presentation, journalism schools have a new obligation. As the institutions of journalism (newspapers) go through turmoil, the academic institutions which are somewhat cushioned from these market forces, should be leading the charge in figuring out how…..

  • Individual journalists can continue to make a living despite the fall of newspapers.
  • Re-define acts of journalism: change the culture of journalism to be more participatory.
  • Re-define journalism’s mission: bring us back to our roots as professionals who, through services and products, serve a democratic society.
  • Invigorate the culture and industry of journalism: bring back the passion. No more clasping our hands over our face like the kid in that Home Alone movie. It’s time to take charge!

Homealone_2

These are pretty broad and overarching statements that, I have no doubt, will be difficult to implement. So, while I don’t envy Geneva and her new role, I do applaud her and the staff in their decision to face this challenge head on.

The day ended with the presidential debates. This could be a post in itself. I’ve already done my rare political post and while I still don’t intend on becoming a “political blogger” (it’s not my strength) I have to say – it was thrilling to watch.

Lately I’ve felt like my stomach is tied in knots due to the giant bailout that is about to take place. I flashback to my grandfather telling me about the Great Depression which he lived through. I have no idea what’s in store for us as a country and me as an individual.

I’m at a stage of life where a financial meltdown wouldn’t rob me of any “assets.” It’s not like I was playing the market or have a mortgage. But those are the adult type of things I wouldn’t be against worrying about in the future. I wonder if they will be around in the same capacity?

For now – I will do the only thing I can. Keep my head down and working on spot.us. At the very least, I am lucky to be working on a project that I am passionate about.

If you haven’t seen the video demonstrating spot.us in the development phase, check it out. If you are concerned about the bailout and the impact that it might have on baby-boomers, you should also check out our latest (and last) pre-alpha pitch: How cities can plan ahead for the massive wave of retirees?

p.s.

Interesting people met at USC:
It was great to finally meet Mindy McAdams. Through out blogs, we kinda already knew each other. Always cool when that happens. Also: Marc Cooper is badass! Jan Shaffer has an excellent take on what I blogged earlier as “community organizing is media.” As she says it: “Don’t just cover community – create it.” Dori Maynard, always sheds light on something new for me. This time – the myth of “journalism in the golden age.” Guess what – Journalism was never perfect and never will be.

There were countless other good conversations. Again, if I wasn’t so exhausted, I’d try and remember more.