Written by Rachel Rigdon
In search of better journalism and weather, several Megaphone editors and I traveled to the preternaturally temperate San Diego for a journalism conference (see a list of the sessions we attended). I was planning on writing this blog from there, embedded in the journalistic frenzy, but apparently no one reminded the coordinators that journalists actually need free Internet.
Other than the lack of Internet and a brief loss of a bag, the conference was incredible. We were able to hear about the role of new media, tips for a redesign (coming soon!), and investigative reporting ideas. Between the seven of us, I believe we came home with at least 25 pages of exciting new ideas for The Megaphone.
One of the repeating themes of the conference was new media, which was uncomfortably attached to another repeating theme: the death of newspapers. Most of us have heard about the thousands of publications that have closed their doors. Even the New York Times is in dire straits and could be closing down as quickly as this month. The many panelists and speakers that were present seemed divided between two extremes: near-suicidal pessimism and inflated optimism.
Personally I feel that this bi-polar response is unproductive in transforming journalism to a postmodern world. It can’t be about surviving anymore, it has to be about development and innovation now. This is an incredibly exciting, and terrifying, time to be a journalist. We must be the generation that will be at the forefront of this huge paradigm shift, and we need to be flexible, vigilant, and most of all honest in order to protect all that made journalism great while still adapting. While we’re doing it, we’ll work to improve the quality as well, both in the real world and at The Megaphone.