When journalism professors ask me to speak to their classes and groups, they typically request I focus on two areas: the craft and the business.
They want me to show my work, discuss how I produce stories, advise how to navigate the media landscape, and impart the wisdom of a broadcast professional.
These are important topics – but, in my mind, not the most important.
In one of my first blog entries, I wrote about what I learned (and didn’t learn) in journalism school. Here’s what I said I didn’t learn:
- How to tell a story – in the advanced sense, anyway
- About the cold hard reality of the industry
- How to battle bureaucracy
Here’s what I said I did learn:
- A foundation outside of journalism that I apply to my work as a journalist
- To think critically about my field
- That what we do is important, and what we do is valued
In short, I learned how to develop my voice.
I thought of this when I received the chance to give the keynote speech at the induction banquet of the University of Georgia’s DiGamma Kappa broadcast society. I decided I would encourage them in the way that had worked for me: implore them to think big and have something to say.
I recorded that speech and present it now as Episode #57 of the Telling the Story podcast.