The way it works is that you submit an entry where you can write text, create a video and a slideshow to convince people out there that you are the future of journalism. Then others get to decide if you made your point by voting for you.
It’s kind of interesting, because the person who wins gets a job with the company. That’s one way of doing it, right?
I doubt I’ll win or even make it the final 10 entries. After all, I’m one of hundreds of journalists, and all of these journalists have similar ideas.
But I figure I’ve got nothing to lose.
Here’s what I wrote for my entry.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a group invitation on Facebook:
“Don’t Let Newspapers Die!”
I declined the invite. The group has since grown to 32,101 members.
After reading about cuts and layoffs and watching advertising numbers decline, I came to one conclusion: newspapers ARE dying.
But here’s the second part of that conclusion: journalism isn’t.
And that realization right there is why I’m the future of journalism.
To save quality journalism, the kind of journalism that some fear will die out as newsrooms continue to shrink, it’s time to let the print product go.
Focus on the Web – that’s where people get their information these days.
And don’t let the journalistic quality slip. Combine the old school journalism skills with technology skills. Be a good writer and reporter – but learn how to record audio and shoot video too.
And that’s only step one. Step two is to make the journalism we do relevant to a public that has grown use to a 24/7 information landscape.
This is where social media comes in. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter…millions upon millions of people use these Web sites every day. Reach out to them.
Newspapers have signed up for Twitter accounts. But don’t just hook up your RSS feed and let it go. Have someone actively update it and check it. Answer questions that readers may ask.
Maybe when we’ve connected with our communities again, we will find a way to fix the advertising problem. That’s something I don’t know a lot about – but I’m willing to work to figure it out.
I’m the future because I get this. I’m the future because I want to share this with others.
But to me, the most important reason for why I’m the future of journalism isn’t because I get or I want to share it.
It’s because I believe in it.
So, to the 32,101 who want to save newspapers, I admire your conviction. But I suggest it’s time to set your sights on something new.
Join me in creating a future for journalism we all can believe in.