Photo by Tania Conte.
Getting away used to be so easy. But in a world where even forest monks carry smartphones tucked inside their saffron-colored robes, it can be hard to get off the grid. My latest column looks at this phenomenon from the perspective of a recent trip to Thailand.
CHIANG MAI, Thailand — I’ve been checking my emails here only once a day, like it’s the 1990s all over again.
For many Americans, a great part of traveling in Asia is not receiving any messages during the day because almost everyone you know — halfway around the world, back home — is asleep. I wake up, read the overnight messages and forget about email. If only this could last.
Even that disconnected luxury goes only so far when almost half the world’s population accesses the internet , and even forest monks at a remote mountain temple carry smartphones tucked into their saffron-colored robes. Along a narrow canal an hour outside of Bangkok, we passed a small wooden shack with open-air windows — and a 60-inch TV mounted inside the front door. Neighbors had sealed up their homes and installed air conditioners.
Everyone, it seems, hungers for the same cutting-edge technology, instant connectivity and modern convenience. That drive holds exciting promise for bringing us together, and perhaps a little danger for our demands on the planet as well. Read more…
Nice surprise to meet David Newell, aka Mr. McFeely, in the CMI today. He’s here for Steve Cuden’s StoryBeat podcast. In real life, of course, he looks totally different than on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Sounds the same though. You can’t hear it here but he was giving me a, “Speedy delivery!”
Kids have no idea! That’s the theme of my latest column. I spent some time thinking about how much work it used to take to make a video. Now Facebook (or Google, Videolicious, Snapchat, etc.) does all of the heavy lifting so we can focus on being creative. That already means that we see so much more content – and higher quality videos too. Hope you enjoy…
Just for fun, I recently created a video of my beach vacation, posted it to Facebook and shared it with the world.
The entire production process took about 30 seconds and I reached hundreds of my “friends” online.
Doing the same thing 20 years ago, when I was in journalism school, would have taken far longer, moving images from one analog tape to another with a large and expensive editing bay. Sharing my work with the world? Almost impossible.
As we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the iPhone this summer , it’s worth taking some time to reflect on how quickly our world keeps changing — and considering whether we’re capable of keeping up. Read more…
Journalism is a business. That always has been true (as a reader reminded me this week) but disruption in the industry has changed the way that journalists must think about their jobs. On a recent visit to Boston, I caught up with a friend working at the Boston Globe’s new spinoff, Stat News, and I met with Josh Benton at Harvard’s Nieman Journalism Lab. Both talked about the need for reporters to be aware of their company’s bottom line. That used to be taboo. My latest column looks at the changes taking place…
The experiment should have been a disaster: Take 15 advanced journalism students and challenge them to spend a semester thinking about money, spreadsheets, marketing ideas and business plans. But it wasn’t.
A decade ago, it would have been heretical for journalists to think about making money. Today, that thinking has become essential for media businesses to survive — and for creative people to support themselves.
After seeing journalists forced reluctantly into becoming entrepreneurs, I ran the experiment at Point Park University this spring. We talk often about using technology to tell stories in innovative ways, but young journalists — especially — also must think creatively about selling their ideas. Read more…
Worried about the future of storytelling? Take a trip down to Connellsville. Yes, that Connellsville. The kids there are onto something great with the help of their pioneering teachers. They are pushing hard into the future – and they’re taking the whole school with them. I recently visited and wrote my latest media column based on the experience. Check it out…
Ask Jacob Kern about healthy eating, and the Connellsville High School junior can drop lines to a rap song about chasing water rather than soda or trans fats.
He wrote the lyrics and recorded them for his health class. Students here have created thousands of media projects this school year on everything from the laws of physics to the Spanish-American War.
Kern, 17, a media intern at the school, said the unconventional assignment helped him understand the material: “I like it a lot more than the traditional reading books. It’s stuck in my head.”
While media innovators largely focus on the latest social trends and tools for communicating to the masses, cutting-edge educators are driving their own classroom revolution with new digital tools — video, audio recordings, the internet and more. Technology is “relevant to their life,” Justin Aglio, Montour School District director of innovation , told me. “Students will engage things that are relevant to them.”
Read more: http://triblive.com/opinion/featuredcommentary/12329357-74/digital-tools-connect-with-tech-savvy-students
I have been heading back to elementary school recently to talk about Roberto Clemente. Students at Mt. Lebanon’s Foster Elementary and Ligonier Valley’s R.K. Mellon Elementary have been so awesome. It’s a testament to the teachers that the students are so enthusiastic about writing! Gives me hope for the future.
If anyone else is interested in having me speak with their students, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newly minted Pulitzer winners seemed to be everywhere at the recent Scripps Howard Awards’ VIP reception in Cincinnati. I was fortunate to spend time with two of them.
One, Daniel Berehulak of The New York Times, spent weeks last year in the Philippines to chronicle President Duterte’s brutal “war on drugs.” I had been moved by the series when it ran, and it was fascinating to hear Berehulak talk about the experience. His images, like the one below, are graphic, disturbing and beautiful…
The other, Eric Eyre of The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia, impressed me for how unaffected he seemed by all of the Pulitzer hype. He represents the best of so many journalists I have known over the years, grinding out stories every day with the goal of having a positive impact on their community. He landed the story of his career by exposing just how many prescription opioids are pouring into West Virginia (spoiler alert: it’s a lot!).
Eric was kind enough to share more time with me after I returned to Pittsburgh. I featured his work in this month’s media innovation column…
Eric Eyre always thought reporters had to write something like a nine-part series to win a Pulitzer Prize. It turns out all he had to do was keep grinding.
Eyre, 51, figures he writes about 250 stories a year as a statehouse reporter for West Virginia’s Charleston Gazette-Mail newspaper, circulation 37,000. He files a story almost every day, and another for the Sunday edition. Once a month, he works the night cops beat.
A couple of stories Eyre wrote in December changed the pace of his work, for now.
Read more here.