Friday, February 27, 2009

Microwave Barbeque

We're moving fast here on this blog. You'll have to hustle to keep up.

This blogging business has yielded some insightful comments. Here are two from the Sorry State of Journalism rant to enrich the discussion. Both are from folks working in the field with significant experience. We’d love to hear from anyone else with a perspective on the state of modern journalism. RIP Rocky Mountain News.


From the comments section:

This will be an interesting discussion, but I doubt it will spark a revolution. Aside from their tone being all wrong, the students’ argument doesn’t hold up. If you want to learn how to play electric guitar, do you really need to know how the amplifier or speakers work? No, not necessarily. The virtuosos do because they are consumed with the instrument and they’ve mastered playing the instrument … so they move on to the equipment in hopes of discovering new sounds (and they never quit practicing). In the journalism realm, it would seem that being a solid reporter and writer should come before you begin to concern yourself with the medium in which your work appears. Yes, the techniques in writing for print and the web are different, but the fundamentals in the writing practice – and the similarities between the two mediums – is what they’ll need to rely on to carry them through the profession. Today’s students want a different instrument. They want to play lead on the electric guitar, but instead they feel they are being asked to strum an acoustic. The professors on this call need to show them that an acoustic guitar can brilliant it doesn’t even need to be plugged in.
-- Kevin Kuzma

I am as much a believer in modern journalistic technology as anyone. In the real world, if you strive to reach an audience that matters, you have to. However, tweeting without first learning the fine craft of writing and wanting to call it "journalism," or for that matter shooting a state of the art digital camera without first learning the shear panic of rolling film in the like serving your summer guests microwave barbeque. I will pass, and I definitely will not HIRE anyone who cannot write their way out of a paper bag, real or virtual. Maybe some folks are hiring tweeters for that seemingly hollow skill set, but it seems to be a task that us old fogies who CAN WRITE are picking up with amazing acuity in less than a week or two. Listen kids, don't give me that crappy, plastic tub barbeque. Spend some time with real chunk charcoal and a Weber kettle and then give me a call, or heck, shoot me a tweet. I am wired.

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