Powered by three cups of coffee and a single morning muffin, I took on NYC. My excitement about how thin I was going to become if I could stick with this minimalist eating schedule was only outdone by two things: my geek out over reporting/journalism and all the attractive men (and women!) in beautiful clothing. Also, trolling #CMANYC14.
In an effort to be concise, something that is allegedly really valuable (learning so much already!), I am just going to provide a few of my takeaways from each session I attended. This way I can focus the majority of my attention on going behind the scenes of CNN.
(spoiler alert: IT WAS AMAZING)
Digital Leadership led by Mandy Jenkins from Digital First Media
-The work outside of work is sometimes more valuable than your actual work
-RISKS RISKS RISKS
-Don’t just pocket names and rub elbows, really invest in relationships.
-Lead from where you are and lead things, lead ideas, before you try leading people
-Be nimble, digital makes collaboration possible
-Be an Intrepreneur. Build something incredible from where you are right then.
-Did I mention take risks?
-Digital makes all the things possible. Don’t limit yourself. Don’t limit your abilities.
-Tell other people to take risks.
Science of Video: Basics & Beyond by Herbert (fantastic name) Dunmore from LMU
-Always consider the human eye versus your camera, the differences and similarities.
-Color models for print versus digital are different. Always remember that when editing.
-Shoot as many angles and zooms as possible; more is always better.
-4K is the future of video- Herb (nicknames because BFF) talked a lot about this. I am still a little shaky on what the actual compression variance is but I do understand that this is the direction video is moving.
-Add these words to your repertoire: pan, tilt, dolly, trucking, boom, you’re a videographer
Keynote: Scott Pelley CBS/60 minutes
Scott Pelley has a voice that booms from the heavens and he wears a suit better than Jon Hamm, a feat I thought improbable. Arguably Scott is one of the most famous and well-known reporters of today and his speech reflected that. Besides talking in twitter sound bytes (a next level speech delivery I will from here forth strive towards) his delivery was passionate and to the point.
Scott Pelley Wisdom in concise perfectly tweet sized snippets:
“Democracy cannot occur without free press. When journalism goes to hell the country follows suit.”
“Distribution is revolutionary, content and storytelling will never alter.”
“You have a responsibility to your country and to your peers to get it right, to do great journalism. Don’t be involved in closing minds.”
“We are not in the business of stopping arguments, we are about starting them”
“I do not care what your political affiliation is. I literally do not care. Give them all hell.”
and finally…this excellent statement about the difficulties of dressing for young people:
“young people…should I wear a tie? A bow tie? No tie at all? NO. I’m going to wear a damn tie, it’s fine.”
A New Kind of Fourth Estate by Frank Muraca & Hau Chu from George Mason U
Arguably the most fascinating session I attended on Thursday and led by two of my peers that’s accomplishments are seriously awesome. To acquire a more well rounded understanding of the convergence of digital and print media that Frank and Hau created read here: http://www.gmufourthestate.com/content/how-do-we-save-news-mason-part-1
The points I took away from the session (and during the after session chat I had with Frank) were:
-The act of convergence is overwhelming, but worth it. Utilize tools like SEO and Google analytics to create more while monitoring traffic.
-Online—day-to-day news keep it short and quick.
-Print—features, investigative reporting, human interest. Then when posted online embed media (photos + video) exclusives to create a more dynamic piece
-There is still a need for a physical presence of papers on campus. It’s symbolic of ideas and stature. Never forget that despite the fleeting romance of going all digital. (suck it Newsweek).
-Love it or hate it, Buzzfeed has high traffic. Utilize their platform to break down stories or to create student interest and flow to your site.
Data Driven Journalism by a fantastically geeky data nerd wearing a hoodie that may have been named Dave from Chartbeat.
I tragically did not write this guy’s name down and have temporarily misplaced his business card, regardless his session was fascinating. He began by saying, “I work at Chartbeat, we have custom hoodies, so obviously we are a start up.”
Say no more Dave(?) you have my full attention.
-There is a difference between page views and actual reading time. Utilize this data to control when you publish online and how to keep readers engaged and returning.
-You want recirculation. Front door traffic versus side door traffic is imperative to understanding your site. Front door traffic is people that come to you to check the news out of loyalty. Side door traffic is from social media clicks, typically they are fleeting audiences with different degrees of loyalty.
-Put your links at the top and embed links in your articles. People do and will click on them.
Revolving Doors at CNN
It was chilly but I was trying to look chic. As I learned quickly, not just any Joe Briefcase (although every person there had a briefcase and some may have been named Joe) was allowed to enter the unbelievably secure revolving door that is the entrance to CNN so you better look fantastic as you are handed your “temporary (emphasis on temporary) visitor pass”. Tragically, photos were not allowed for reasons that were never given and amusingly no one asked, despite every person in our intimate tour group (9 people in total) being journalists.
CNN is surreal. Not only did I acquire an over stimulation headache from the 1,000,005 screens in that building (Note: this is an estimate) but I got to sit with incredibly high up CNN execs talk news and broadcast journalism.
My ‘pinch me’ moment occurred while staring out the wall of windows on Central Park from the primary CNN newsroom. The newsroom exec was describing the atmosphere during a breaking news moment, sweat/yelling/ringing phones, and I got goose bumps. In Manhattan, covering breaking news stories and drinking buckets of coffee, multitasking as not an asset but a necessity. This is the kind of intense environment my soul yearns for.
Also, you have to love a place that gives out free water containers. (Go green!) AND houses Anderson Cooper.
-Cassie Sheridan, Reporter at Thin.