At the opening session, Mark Russell from the Orlando Sentinel gave the keynote address, focusing on social media and its use at the newspaper, specifically during the Casey Anthony case — which was interesting for the first few minutes. After that, it quickly turned into a repeat of every communications class I’ve taken at Elon. Social media is important. Every good journalist needs to be able to do everything: shoot video, take photos and write stories. We are able to learn a lot of new information through Twitter that might not have been accessible or feasible to obtain otherwise. The physical print newspaper is dying, and online is rising. Welcome to COM100.
I understand that these are all important things, and I very firmly believe them to be to be true and relevant. But these are things I’ve heard a hundred times. I expected the keynote to bring some sort of unique insight to the table, but instead, he just said the same things over and over, things that are not knew to me.
And while this was super frusterating for me, it made me realize that there are probably people out there who didn’t know these things, who weren’t fortunate enough to go to a fantastic school that wanted to make sure they were prepared to go out into the ever-changing journalism world. For them, that session was not only informative, but it was essential. And for that, I am so thankful for where I’ve been able to spend the last three and a half years of my life: Elon.
– Sam Calvert