This is not an exit

Archive for April, 2011|Monthly archive page

Catch you on the other side

In Journalism on April 29, 2011 at 7:00 am
Grand Island, just outside of Dayton, Ore.

It’s been nearly a year since I sat in a room with 13 other interns, a handful of editors and alumni from the Snowden class of 2009. It was in that orientation session that I  began my stint in what is arguably the most revered journalism training program in the state of Oregon.

The Snowden Program for Excellence in Journalism is administered through the University of Oregon School of Journalism of Communication and is coordinated by Pete Peterson, who, coincidentally, was once the adviser of The Torch at Lane Community College. (For those of you just joining us, that’s the newspaper for which I’m the editor and that recently won the Society of Professional Journalists’ best in show award for Region 10.)

Every year, approximately 15 college students are sent to about 14 Oregon publications — The Register-Guard in Eugene usually takes two interns — for 10 weeks and, more or less, thrown to the wolves as reporters, photographers and copy editors. And it’s not just any internship. In any given newsroom, these individuals stand out among the others. Every time Steve Bagwell, managing editor of The Yamhill County News-Register introduced me to somebody, he’d follow my name with “yep, he’s our Snowden.”

I didn’t fully understand how big a deal it was when I applied for my internship.

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The importance of going local

In Journalism, Social Media on April 15, 2011 at 12:55 am
Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman played Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in what is probably the most popular journalism movie of all time.

You ever see All The President’s Men?

You really should; it’s a great flick. In the ’70s and ’80s, it was known as the movie that launched a thousand journalism careers. And with good reason. It’s tough to keep yourself from wondering what kind of stuff you could unearth with enough persistence.

But alas, the world is changing.

Publications like The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times used to be where it was at. Well, for me, anyway. I’m not saying I would turn down a job at any of those publications if I had the opportunity. What I’m getting at is that, as the world of our profession changes, we’ve gotta change how we play the game.

The New York Times, for one, has steadily seen its print readership decrease ever since the widespread adoption of the Internet as a primary source of news. After all, prior to April 2011, the publication’s online product was free for many years. Why pay for something tangible when you can get the same information in digital form?

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