By Clare Duffy |
Conferences are a whirlwind – there is learning, there is networking, and there is a marked lack of sleeping. This was my second ONA conference, and while I pretty much never stop thinking about The Beacon, there was an additional thing on my mind this year: My post-grad life in journalism.
This was a simultaneously thrilling and frightening subject to meditate on, but ONA16 was yet another reminder that there are many options for what my place in the journalism industry could look like, and that the journalism industry is the same exciting, inspiring, innovative field I’ve always loved.
Here are my biggest take-aways from the week:
- “Doing Digital” can be a job in and of itself. I’ve always had this idea that if you work on the digital end of things, you’ll be “doing digital” for a print publication or a broadcast station, basically just pushing their content out online. However, I met so many people whose job is to create content and break news solely for online or on social – and it works so much better when it’s native to the platform. A good reminder for The Beacon and for life.
- As we work to report more and more about issues of diversity on campus, one thing I was reminded of at the “Telling Diverse Stories” panel lead by MSNBC/NBC journalists (including Trymaine Lee, who was arrested in Ferguson while reporting), is that it is important to fact check and “sensitivity check” your stories about diverse communities with a member of that community, even if there is not a representative in your newsroom. However, it is important to avoid having a “token” representative from a community that you always rely on, silencing other voices.
- An interesting note from this session, too, was this fact from a Gallup poll last week: “Trust in mainstream media is the lowest it has ever been.” I think this must motivate us to continue telling the stories that matter, getting into the communities we’re reporting on, and using data and authoritative facts to back up the human side of stories.
- A reminder for breaking stories in the age of digital: When you update a breaking story on the same breaking page, re-tease it and change the headline to reflect the new news and make sure your readers are going back for the most current info.
- Facebook Live! I have never heard the words “Facebook Live” so many times in a 72-hour period. Journalists are REALLY into Facebook Live right now, so it’s a tool I’ll be looking to learn how to use well ASAP. CNN’s Social Media manager suggests using Facebook Live to take people inside somewhere they wouldn’t normally get to go, to make them feel like they’re really there (for example: inside a volcano in Indonesia – that was a real thing).