ServeNext.org Blog

National Youth Journalism Conference 2009

Posted by laurelgerard on July 16, 2009

This past Thursday, July 9th, I attended the National Youth Journalism Conference, at the Center for American Progress in  Washington DC. After a long day at the Campus Progress National Youth Conference the day before it was nice to enjoy a conference on journalism in a quieter, more intimate setting.

The morning started out with a panel discussion on the future of journalism. Many different aspects of current and future journalism were touched upon throughout the discussion, but some aspects were made specifically clear. One interesting fact mentioned was that right now is the best time to be a consumer of media because there are so many different resources that can be used to get information and news, including online and published resources. Another issue brought up was that it is becoming increasingly harder to fund journalism. With free information available on the internet it is getting harder and harder for newspaper companies and journalists to make money.

I also attended a workshop about reporting on urban issues. The workshop was lead by David Schimke, editor in cheif at the Utne Reader. David lead an extremely informative discussion on reporting on urban issues. He made it clear in his discussion that in order to write a captivating and memorable piece it is important to make clear the flow of power amongst people. He believes it is important to analyze and understand who is holding power, who wants power, and who has no power. If one can understand that, one can understand the dynamic of a situation. He also said that one of the best ways of acquiring information is simply by spending time around the place that one is reporting on. By doing this, one has the opportunity to observe and acquire information from his or her surroundings. 

I then attended a blogging skills workshop in the late afternoon. The workshop was lead by Marcy Wheeler, a blogger for FireDogLake. She was gracious enough to post the notes from her workshop on her blog. Two things she discussed during the workshop were the reasons one should blog and the differences between blogging and traditional media. Her workshop was entertaining, as attendees broke into discussion groups for the second half of the time.

The National Youth Journalism Conference was a day packed with interesting speakers and informative workshops. It was a wonderfully organized and pleasant event.

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