Disasters and Money

16 Feb

OK. The two topics go hand-in-hand. These are the topics that we went over this week…

On Monday, we went over to the National Press Club. We met the Donna Leinwand Leger of USA Today. She is a disaster reporter and has traveled to Iraq a few times and covered the earthquake in Haiti. She gave us some basics about reporting in a disaster and war. She explained to us that finding good stories is difficult because of all the disorganization. She gave us some basics on how to report in those situations. She told us about some her horrific experiences in Haiti, describing the story of a girlfriend waiting for US aid for her dead boyfriend so he could receive a proper burial. It broke my heart, but just describes some of the challenges journalists face.

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After talking with Donna, we met one of the co-authors of “The Elements of Journalism”, Tom Rosenstiel. Tom works at the American Press Institute converting it into a think tank from a professional development organization. He spoke with us about the changing audiences for media. He said that people are consuming more media now than ever before. He showed us positive trends for legacy newspapers (NY Times, Washington Post and other such papers) and they doing well. However, she told us the biggest challenge is monetizing an online audience. He told us that pay walls and other methods have not proven effective yet. Perhaps a combination of many different methods could work, but this generation has to figure out how to monetize the online audience. He was great, I thought it would be boring, but it was a great presentation. He sign my copy of his book. He wrote, “To Charles, the next journalism is yours to invent, all the best.”  It’s true, we all have to contribute to have the future of journalism.

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On Tuesday, we went to Kiplinger Magazine, a personal finance magazine. Our class met with Doug Harbrecht, the director of new media at Kiplinger. He explained to us the challenges of a magazine crossing over into social media. He told us about Kiplinger is working to expand its reach in the with apps  and other such info. He also told us about the fact the Kiplinger has not laid off anyone during the recent economic crisis. It was great to hear from him and how he relied on people our age to explain trends and enact idea for the magazine.

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Wednesday I had a day off, but Thursday and Friday were some busy days. I had my first major project at my internship which was a grand opening ceremony at Zoom Room, a dog fitness center. Yes, a dog fitness center. It was an interesting experience, however, I learned a lot about how to promote clients and the different elements that goes into public relations (photography, promotion and different pr elements). The event when off without a hitch, there were even a few politicians there (imagine politicians near Washington). I was pleasantly surprised how well the event when on Friday and our clients were happy with the event.

Well, it has been a challenging past week, hopefully next week is a bit easier.

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