Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Comms 239 Extra Credit Lecture

I had the opportunity to attend a lecture by Jonathan Ebinger, a Washington D.C. based media consultant and educator. He was a producer for the ABC News Program, “Nightline” and has been in the business for years. His presentation was informative regarding national network news and the drastic shift that the Internet brings to this industry. He mentioned that ABC News cut 25 percent of their employees. He also stated that national nightly news programs have decreased as well. Television news stations are not gaining young people as viewers and losing people across the board regarding age. However, network evening news is still reaching the most people. At the end of the day, news is a business. This new shift means that fewer people must perform more jobs. Ebinger said that the negative side of this new shift is quality. Fewer people working for a station means there are fewer eyes and hands to catch mistakes and fix them.

Clearly, as a college student graduating next year, I was curious as to how I can best prepare and equip myself for the workforce. Ebinger said writing is the most important skill. He isn’t the first one to give me this advice. Yes, all of the technical skills I need to attain are significant, but regardless, writing is essential. But if there is anything I have learned in the broadcast journalism program it’s that the more skills we bring to the table the more valuable we are. Ebinger also said recent college grads that enter the workforce have much more authority than they might think. This is simply due to smaller news staff. There are less people to go through to get things approved.

Also, social media is becoming more accepted. Public information is everywhere. We are able to learn about people with the click of a mouse. With new social media sites such as, Facebook, Blogger, and Twitter, and the online sites of newspapers and news stations, there is a constant stream of information.

Ebinger said, “We must feed the beast.” Honestly, I find it difficult to remember where I find my facts to certain stories because I have various resources. Overall, I found his presentation quite insightful. His exposure to network news is unbeatable.
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