Wow, what a wonderful first week in the city that never sleeps. I am so blessed and privileged to be able to attend this media impact trip for Whitworth University 2017.
So far, we have visited five media organizations in New York, the very first being the New York Times, the largest media operation in the city.
As if it already wasn’t intimidating enough for a young aspiring communication professional in media central, right?
We had the privilege of meeting with the head of the graphics department, named Kevin.
Although Kevin had a lot of insight and inspiration for young people who want to succeed in this field, and explained how the Times operates (in terms of creating, producing and distributing content) I think the most impactful piece of advice he shared with us is to “become a numerate journalist.”
By that he meant we should diversify our portfolios as much as possible and dive into and learn a variety of skills – such as programming and coding, web development and statistics – to have the best chance of success as a journalist.
For me, personally, this hit me the hardest, for two reasons: 1) Because the other organizations that we have visited thus far have said similar sentiments (for example, both The Smoking Gun and Bloomberg executives said that “journalism is the most important thing to be doing right now”). And so I think that all of the messages shared by the other organizations are encapsulated by the New York Times’ “become a numerate journalist” sentiment. With so many ways to get our message across and reach a vast audience – like print, video and social media – a journalist must be willing to and have the knowledge and skills to adapt to our ever-evolving world, particularly in technology. There is a lot of variety in the way we communicate and as young communication professionals, we should be looking for ways to engage many people of diverse backgrounds and it excites me that every day we will get to do something different and tell a new story.
The second reason it hit me was because with so many outlets now to communicate with the masses, anyone can be a journalist, which makes it even more important for professionals to seek truth, always.
I think that’s extremely important, and it is why I want to become a communication professional: the media have a tremendous power and opportunity to educate and inform the masses and reach millions of people and with that comes a responsibility to ensure that information is true and accurate.