What does success look like?

This morning, the managing editor and advisor of the OUDaily, Oklahoma University’s award-winning student news organization, presented “Quit Talking About Going Digital First: Learn How To Do It.”

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The title of this workshop really spoke to me, because I often feel as though ENN’s executive staff has been discussing putting digital content first forever, but we’ve never made the sincere commitment.

OUDaily’s advisor discussed the largest roadblocks they encountered during their transitions:

  1. Tradition — There is a sense of allegiance toward “the way things have always been done.” People are sentimental about their classic style, their name, office space, their copyflow, etc.
  2. Comfort — Doing things the way you’ve always done them is somewhat easy, not to mention safe. Taking risks is scary.

I think ENN has similar precautions in addition to some of the others they mentioned including a lack of resources and printing schedule

When I return to campus, I would like us all to take a moment to consider, “What does success look like?” The presenters stressed that, in order to overcome their aforementioned hurdles, they needed to establish a idea of where they would like to be.

— Meg Malone

 

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Dazzle your digital resume! Why it matters and how to make it matter.

Liam Collins

Make a website.

Cassie Morien of INK Magazine feels so strongly about this. There are plenty of free websites that allow you to create your own website, establish yourself, and make your work easy to find.

Here is what you should be putting on your digital resume:

-Headshot

Best clips (you should not be posting all of your work online).

-Resume (make it digital, interactive, and downloadable in a pdf format).

-Multimedia materials (videos, pictures, articles–>show them you can do it all).

-Awards

-Skills

The tips that blew my mind the most in this session?

-Don’t put the year you graduate on your resume. Morien said that agism exists in the working world. Don’t give them the opportunity to think your naïve enough to take a lower salary.

-Get rid of your objective. “Your objective is you want a job.” This is the best way to beat the software scrolling through the Internet and recruiting websites looking for “the most qualified candidates” for that position.

-No references on a resume. Put a “Testimonial” tab on your website with direct quotes from people you’ve worked with and worked for. Have your references come to the employer, don’t make the employer go to your references. If they want your references, they will ask you.

Finally, on bios for websites, social media profiles, etc. Ask a friend to write yours! Ask your mom what they say about you! What others think of when they think of you is what matters most.

Social media for small schools

Liam Collins

There are so many ways to get your organization’s message heard without busting your already tight budget. With that being said, there are also so many ways to get around the costly methods of social media use.

The simplest method to expand your readership is through Instagram. Myron Goldsmith of Capital University says at his newspaper, the majority of their readers overwhelmingly come through Instagram. The ways they drive views from their Instagram account? First, three simple words: “Link in bio.” Whenever we make an Instagram post promoting a new article, we should be, temporarily, providing the link to the article in our Instagram bio. Additionally, posting our Instagram posts to our Instagram stories can increase our readership and views on that post, because if users did not see the original post, because of the new Instagram algorithm that puts posts that we think we might be interested in at the top, then they can still see it on our story.

Goldsmith said that Instagram is the new hottest app that everyone uses, and we should use that to our advantage.

Making your mark

Liam Collins

Brand. Something that isn’t a foreign concept to any media-hopeful, but something that can be hard to establish.

A good brand can help establish a following, which is obviously key in the media world.

The number one thing that should be taken back from this session was consistency. Keeping your brand consistent will allow your following to find and understand all of your content.

Eva Coleman of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists explained the importance of believing in your brand.

“If you don’t believe in your brand, nobody else will.”

“What you say about yourself are the words that take flight.”

“Surround yourself with people with your common goal of putting positivity into the world.”

You can’t do it all.

This session was led by professor Kenna Griffin again, I really enjoy her personality. Managing time is hard as a student. As a student journalist, it can be even more complicated. There are boundaries you have to set, expectations you have to meet and ultimately an education you have to cultivate. There were several quotable statements from professor Griffin in this session. I believe they will give a better sense of her advice and tips for all student journalists (whom she referred to as her little chickens!).

 

“News is a black hole you will never get out of.”

“You need days when you do not work.”

“You cannot be put on call 24/7, if it dings, blings or rings, turn it off when you need to focus.”

“You have to be okay with taking time for yourself.”

“If you [mess] up everything you do today, no one will die.”

“Put your work in perspective.”

“You’re a student first.”

“When you feel terrible about everything you do, you are overcommitted.”

“You’re body will snap, and it will tell you when you’re done.”

“Prioritize your day, so no to a lot of little things so you can say yes to what really matters.”

“The love of the job will get you through the things you don’t enjoy, just like the desire for a degree gets you through prerequisites.”

“Control your email, or it will control you.”

 

It is hard for me to say no. It is hard for me to take time for myself. Hearing Professor Griffin talk about all of these tips and tools was very helpful. She warned that if you burn yourself out in undergrad, you are never going to want to be a journalist. It is hard work, but it should never be hard on your body, mental health or your education. She cringed at the number of students who skipped classes to cover stories. I can admit, I’ve fallen into that category too. But it is important to look in the mirror, and understand that you can only do so much as a student journalist. There is no way to make everyone happy, but you must take care of yourself and your sanity first. It’s a profession of service, we can often forget we need to pay attention to ourselves as well.

 

-Maya Eaglin

Let’s preach free speech.

Gene Policinski from the Newseum and First Amendment Center led more of a discussion than a lecture. He began by stating that he is under the position that more speech is better than less. Policinski advised that everyone should be willing to listen to the opposing side if not for anything but to build a stronger counter argument. He said that once speech is limited for some, it will be limited for all. The topic of discussion went a variety of places, but I’ll just highlight a few key points:

 

You cannot neglect history when talking about protests, inequality and especially racism. Those who argue that their ideas and beliefs aren not rooted in hateful history might want to be redirected to a textbook. Excuses of “tradition” and “the way things are supposed to be” are not justifications for prejudice, nationalism or hate. “If we were having this discussion in 1890, we would be talking about if women had the mental capability to sign contracts and vote,” Policinski said.

 

Any social or political movement would likely not have been as successful without a free press. Policinski went into how many people didn’t take the Civil Rights Movement seriously until it was on television screens all across America. It takes dissemination of images and information to add momentum to movements. Credit should be given, but not expected from those in journalism who bring issues to the attention of the public.

 

The First Amendment was discriminatory when it was created. This might seem like a no-brainer for some, but it worth noting for others. The freedoms and rights set out in the constitution were not granted to everyone. White, wealthy and preferably Christian men were guaranteed these rights. Policinski said that he believes that our founding fathers would have never imagined how long it would take to correct their rigid system.

 

-Maya Eaglin

Why can’t we be friends?

Professor Kenna Griffin was one of my favorite speakers. Her energy, humorous anecdotes and comedic timing kept her session interesting. Newsrooms can become a petri dish for conflict, drama and opposing egos.There are four kinds of conflict, and once you know which you are dealing with, you’re one step closer to solving it.

  1. Relationship conflict – how do you manage your friends?
  2. Task conflict – what should be done?
  3. Process conflict – how should the work be done?
  4. Status conflict – who exactly is in charge?

 

There are steps that can be taken to address these issues, and ultimately create a culture that diffuses and avoids common issues. For those dealing with conflict in their newsrooms, here are some tips:

 

Directly addressing a person face to face might be challenging, but typically the most effective.

Although it can be uncomfortable, it is important to go to the source of an issue. As an advisor for her newspaper staff, she has had to talk to members about appropriate work behavior and  being frank with members about the dangers of slandering other staff members. Griffin said, “You are going to work with a lot of people you don’t like. The mark of a professional, is how you chose to work with them.”

 

Take time to process, anger can be an instinct reaction. Many times issues in the newsroom can seem personal. Often times, our initial reaction is to be defensive or angry. Griffin recommends that we take some time to digest the information we’ve received before jumping to accusations or assumptions. It is important to take some time, but not too much time. You don’t want any issues to fester or seep into the work being done.

 

If the same type of conflict is repeating, you may want to look in the mirror. Every great leader has to take time for self reflection. Even if you are not the cause of the problem, you might be contributing to it. It’s not something that is easy to admit, but it can be the first step in finding a solution.

 

-Maya Eaglin