I think the most important thing I have learned in this class is to not be afraid of the future. As a journalist with a love for newspapers and a huge amount of nostalgia for the paper industry, it’s hard for me not to look to the past. There’s nothing quite like holding that bundle of information in your hand. And there’s nothing like seeing your name printed in a byline.
That being said, it’s impossible to stay in the past. I’m a 21-year-old who can’t imagine life without the Internet and who loves to scroll through social media several times a day. The world is changing rapidly and so is the way people receive the news. Although I think the newspaper industry isn’t quite finished yet, I see the value of learning new digital platforms and being ready for the technology ahead. We’ve got to be ready for anything, ready to adapt with our audience.
Also, there is such value in the Internet with its ability to reach billions of people, despite location, language or socioeconomic status. If our job is to inform the public, how could we not invest time and resources in a digital platform? And it’s the same with social media. We can create and maintain relationships from thousands of miles away. For people in the news business, there is unprecedented importance in human interaction. Who are journalists without the people they serve?
So, I learned that it is okay. It’s okay to feel nostalgia for the past. But it’s okay to feel excitement for the future. We shouldn’t be afraid of the new platforms which seem to be replacing the old ones. The Internet and social media are both incredible gifts and should be treated as such. Journalists have been changing the world for centuries with mere paper and ink. Just imagine what we can do with the technology we possess now.
Our generation is going to change the world. As a wise professor once said, be creative. Be innovative. We shouldn’t be afraid to embrace the tools we have and dare to create new ones. That’s what will carry us into the coming decades. That’s what will make us better journalists.