Journalism on social media: A One-man band contest?

This week’s lecture was really interesting. It featured a guest speaker, Nancy Loo, who works as a reporter for a news channel in Chicago. It’s always great to hear a fresh perspective on something you are learning about, but there was one thing from Nancy Loo’s guest appearance that really brought something new. Although Loo was speaking to my class directly, she was not actually there in person. Loo spoke to us from her home via webcam.

Nancy Loo has embraced social media and has found it an invaluable resource for journalism. She spoke to us about the different social media sites that we as journalists should utilize. She emphasized how our “online presence” is an investment in ourselves and about how building our online “brand” will increase the amount of “google hits” our name will get, as well as increase traffic to our blogs, websites, and social media pages. This is important because the more you are involved online, the more opportunities you have to engage with the community and the world.

As the lecture went on, I began to feel intimidated. First of all, because I have never used, or even heard of many of the sites she mentioned. Secondly: I’m no computer geek, although I wish I was. And to be honest, the internet is one of those things that I use daily but don’t understand fully.

Finding success in journalism was beginning to sound like a highly competitive one-man band contest. It may sound strange but maybe this Pixar Short will help to illustrate my analogy.

In order to become successful you need to be current. For example, who would have thought McDonald’s would ever start advertising for health food? If that’s what the market dictates then so be it. Maybe starting this blog is like picking up a guitar for the first time. There are a lot more instruments to learn, but it always starts with one.


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