What do you get when you put together a well-trained journalist with a bunch of new information? Questions. A lot of questions, I believe. I've had plenty since the seminar began yesterday. I had questions about local news coverage after Steve Yelvington's session. I had questions this morning about jounalistic marketing--or "social capital," as it's called--after Mark Briggs session. And I questioned my whole purpose as a reporter after Al Tompkins' session (although, in a good way).
What I love about this seminar so far is that the questioners (us, as journalists) are being questioned in ways we had never imagined before. And that's what journalism is all about. I'm seeing an underlying theme in all of the sessions so far: It's that, when you listen to your audience, you inevitably become a better journalist. And the audience is telling us, as journalists, to listen.
I know this only touches on the tip of the iceberg. But imagine what could happen if we all got out of our insular newsroom mindsets for just one moment and really, I mean, really paid close attention to what people were saying? This doesn't mean we haven't been doing our jobs. It does mean it's time to change. And I, for one, am joining the revolution.--Martin Ricard