As 2015 ends and 2016 is about to begin, I think about my time on this planet and how much one has to adapt. In thebusiness of journalism we have gone through major shifts in the way we consume and produce news.
The Internet, like a great wave, has covered everything. We can think of it as a tsunami that has destroyed the industry or we can view it like a flood that has wiped the slate clean and allowed us to start fresh. I prefer to change with the tides and welcomeprogress even when it is difficult.
I graduated from the University of Oregon’s School of Journalism in 2008. In one lecture a visiting journalist that worked for a major publication told the room, “Journalism is a sinking ship that I am getting off.”
It was with those words ringing in my ears that I received my diploma. The very next year the school went through a major shift and reorganized the entire structure of educating a journalist. Research classes were transformed into multi-media reporting, social media became a staple of any new and eager reporter. I spent the first six months after graduating teaching myself how to create video news reels and eventually landed my first job at a television station.That was not the plan.
When I moved to the islands my idea of news shifted again, as I embarked on a job in a place where people still bring in hand written letters to be printed and have no interaction with technology like cell phones and computers. Living here has been a lesson in learning that no matter how far we have gone we can always turn back, we don’t have to be slaves to the future. I’ve had to reorganize the way I view the news needs of the islands and to put as much value on our print publication as our online media.
I love that people still cut out pictures in the paper and stick them on the fridge and that the morning ritual of coffee and the daily news still go on. Every year our subscriptions grow. Our islands will continue to evolve as more people will settle here that work from home on their computers, but I believe we will always have a sense of community that goes hand in hand with having an actual printed newspaper.
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