Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Talking to the Future 

As long-time readers of this blog know, I host a community television show that interviews authors and writers. (This was not by choice, by the way. I was dragged into it.) I just completed two shows that give me hope for the future of journalism in the US, as well as a wake-up call for PR practitioners who think they can avoid technology.

The first interview was with teenage editors of the local highschool newspaper. They were articulate, deeply serious about what they do, and they already have the computer skills needed to work in real jobs. The second interview was with a reporter from The New York Times who specializes in computer-based news gathering. He envisions a time when reporters will do everything including video because it is so much easier now. The skills sets he has are extraordinary. For seven years prior to working for the Times, he worked for NBC as an investigative producer and for 12 years before that, he developed the computer skills he uses to find data and create groundbreaking stories. (He was won several prestigious awards in his career.)

When I witness such capabilities, I wonder about those of us who try to avoid web page programming, database building and other technological competencies. It seems to me our futures are dim. We can't all be counselors and press release writers.


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