I’m going to try to blog as much as possible (particularly about the lunch and dinner keynote speeches), but the sessions are 12 hours each day and plus we the assistants shuttling people around, so I can’t promise a certain frequency.
What I can promise is tweets. Tweets galore! As long as my Tilt, iPod Touch and laptop batteries can all survive the long days, I’ll have updates. The School of Comm also has lots of outlets, so I should be ok.
But the overall lesson is to take advantage of any available opportunity to improve your skill set, make new connections and continue relationships. And, if that opportunity doesn’t exist, try to make it happen.
Students have the (paid) opportunity to assistant in one of the three-day sessions. I’ll be helping out with the video narratives sessions, Jan. 7 to 10. Of course, I plan to blog about this event.
Looking forward: Several upcoming posts in this series will related to applying for summer internships. Although it’s too late for many summer opportunities, I hope these posts will help students applying in the spring and beyond.
Weigh in: Have you found any similar training or networking opportunities at your school? If not, what kind would you like to see?
Rich started his talk by discussing how the newspaper industry fell behind with the Web. But, instead of harping on the negative, he mostly offered advice for the hundreds of students and advisers in attendance.
Video excerpt of Beckman’s keynote, shot by Anthony Pesce.
To summarize Rich’s advice:
You still need the basics — writing and editing across platforms, legal and ethical grounding
Everyone needs to know audio and video content gathering, editing and storytelling skills
Photojournalism and photo editing skills and the ability to produce audio-driven photo galleries and stories
Understand audience, usability, social networking, etc.
You need multimedia storytelling skills
Skills are given. Once you have them, you need to learn how to use them
Take advantage of what the Web is good at (interactivity, availability, etc.)
Use your publications to test your skills
Follow people, not organizations, when looking for good examples of journalism
Rich also discussed how multimedia design and infographic skills as well as multimedia programming and producing skills will land you the best (and best paid) jobs at top news organizations.
Besides the familiar faces, I got to see some new faces and meet some people in person for the first time, including AndrewDunn, AnthonyPesce (whose video is embedded above) and MilesSkorpen. I’d known each through Twitter and the latter two from CoPress, so it was great to hang with them at the conference.
The Hurricane didn’t win an online Pacemaker, but we got a pretty plaque for being a finalist. So, we’re looking to next year’s competition, when we’ll be entering the new WordPress site that Brian Schlansky and I created last summer.
I’ll be playing producer and leading one of five video teams today for an Election Day 2008 multimedia project, which is being organized by the UM visual journalism program. The group, which also includes seven still photo teams, is being led by vis-j faculty Jim Virga, Kim Grinfeder and Rich Beckman.
We’ll be working in the West Grove and later putting together a site with all the stories, expected to launch soon after the election is finished. Note: This is not live coverage, but instead a documentary-style project.
I’ll write a recap post with my thoughts and a link after it launches.