Blog Archives

The End of a Semester


If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

Well.  Here it is.  The end of the spring semester at Stony Brook University.  I can’t say it went as well as I had hoped.  Health and other obstacles got in the way of achieving my goal of Dean’s List again for the Spring.  Still, as disappointed as I am about the semester and my grades, I must reflect on all that I have learned.  And believe me, it’s a lot.  At this point I am staying positive and looking forward to my Wedding in October, and a successful fall semester at SBU.

Onward, as they say.

Initially, this blog was set up to meet the requirements of a course I took this spring.  Journalism 24/7.  This course taught me that journalism isn’t just about the story.  It’s not just the reporting or producing.  In fact, it’s not at all just about the news.  It’s a business.  Understanding the business side of journalism is just as important as the industry itself.  Learning the behind-the-scene activity that keeps newspapers in business, television programming alive, and radio broadcasting is crucial to a successful career in journalism.  As is learning the ins-and-outs of the webolution in the news industry.  Yes, I said webolution.  I like it, and it’s fun to say.  Learning the business aspects of journalism has helped me understand why certain decisions are made.

The business of journalism keeps the ball rolling, the information disseminated and the people informed.  It must be successful for journalism to continue in the future.  Make no mistake, journalism is not and should never be about the bottom line, the dollar.  But, that dollar can not be completely ignored either.  There is a fine relationship between business and journalism, and going forward, let’s hope that it continues to favor the story, not the dollar.

I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging about the news industry.  Analyzing what people are writing and saying about the industry has been incredibly informative for me.  I suspect that a lot of my classmates will discontinue their blog, although I would encourage the opposite.

Since my blog started at the end of January, I have had over 500 views.  That may not seem like much, but it’s enough to inspire me to continue the blog.  Obviously, someone out there reads my ramblings and well, even if it’s one person, it’s worth noting, I have an audience.

As long as you keep reading, I will keep writing.  I may expand the topics of the blog a bit in the future.  I might get a few guest bloggers to post and I’m thinking about including some original journalism of my own, local stories from my area, maybe a human interest story here or there.

Journalism in every form, is important.  Whether it’s blogging, broadcast, magazine writing, or main stream news.  As I have said in earlier posts, it’s an important tool in protecting our democracy and freedoms.  Watching the Watchdog is just that.  Making sure others in the industry are doing their job fairly, honestly and accurately.  If they’re not?  We will call them out.

Thank you for the support you have shown by reading my blog.  It is my greatest and most sincere hope that I continue to interest you and inform you.  Please, keep coming back.

Kendra Mercer

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Could Facebook and Twitter Become a Thing of the Past?


Social Media Week 2012 SP

Social Media Week 2012 SP (Photo credit: Fora do Eixo)

In a blog post for 10,000 WORDS, sponsored by Media Bistro, Ben LaMothe writes about his experience lecturing to students at Central Michigan University.  He discusses the relationship of social media to mass communications and journalism.

After his lecture, LaMothe had a Q & A session and found something surprised him.  The students had voiced concerns that social media, specifically Facebook and Twitter, were just trends and eventually could fall to the wayside and become something of the past.  They raised questions about whether education institutions should  offer a degree or certificate program in social media.  According to LaMothe, the students also had concerns that while conducting a job search they feared Facebook accounts could hurt their employment chances.

LaMothe writes, “Students are curious about how social media can impact their job search, but are also afraid of how it could be used against them in the search. Some students viewed the idea of maintaining a “clean” profile as unacceptable, and wondered if it was better to have no Facebook presence at all.  I explained that if they view it as one or the other, then it would probably be better not to have a presence at all. It doesn’t give a recruiter something to use against you in the job seeking process. But when you’re applying for a job in media, it could work against you not having a presence.”

On this point, I would have to disagree slightly with LaMothe.  I think a Facebook presence can in fact hurt employment chances.  We have seen recently articles surfacing about employers requesting the passwords of the social media accounts of new hires.  I know of fellow classmates who have applied for internships, find that they’re recruiter decided not to follow their “clean” or professional profile on Twitter, rather their personal one.  Users say and show a lot about themselves on social media, and I think employers are aware of this, and choose to get a “real” feel for the person they have hired or may hire.  I do agree that if you view it as having one or the other, you probably shouldn’t have an account at all.  I’m not sure why anyone looking for employment these days, with the knowledge of how far-reaching the internet is, would post things on social media websites that they wouldn’t disclose in an interview.

I also agree with LaMothe, it could hurt your employment potential if you are looking for work in media.  Considering the direction social media seems to have taken with regards to communication and journalism, not having a presence these days is just plain silly.

I know a lot of people who can’t stand the idea of social media and they don’t understand why people embrace it.  For me personally, I have to embrace it.  I need to be as absolutely connected as possible.  Social media is a great tool for journalists, writers and just about anyone else who want to get published or be involved in the media and news industry.  It’s a must.

LaMothe says in his article that sure, Facebook and Twitter could disappear, but he also says, “…But the ideas and the impact that the two sites have had on communications, customer service, and more, will just inhabit another site.”

Again, I would have to agree with LaMothe.  The technology and methods of these two sites have made a deep and everlasting mark on communications, and the news industry.  I don’t know of many high-profile reporters, commentators, news networks and shows that do not have a Twitter feed or a Facebook page, or some form of social media connected to them.  This kind of communication, and connectivity is here to stay, whatever package it comes in.