Saturday, October 3, 2009
Future of Journalism: Matt Pepin
Sports Editor for Boston.com
Adjunct Lecturer at Marist College
Former Sports Editor at the Times Herald-Record, New Haven Register, and Journal Register
Mr. Pepin's response to the question about journalism's future:
The skills of a journalist apply to so many media. Write the story, and it can be spun for TV, the big screen, print, web, countless possibilities. But it all starts with the well-written story.
The media that tell stories the best and the media that devote the resources needed to tell the stories the best will survive. Newspapers can be among them with the right approach.
Newspapers must look for stories they will have exclusively. For many, that means concentrating on local, local, local. For others, that means breaking national news. Just make sure the story you are telling has value to your readers.
It's clear two things drive readership regardless of the format - fascinating, compelling features and breaking news. Journalists must relentlessly pursue those to make it in the world. Aspiring journalists should start wherever they can get a foot in the door and then dominate their coverage area. Editors will notice, and then it's survival of the fittest.
Also, be willing to make difficult decisions. Don't cover a story if it doesn't even pass your own "Who Cares" test. Don't fall into the rut of feeling like you must write certain stories out of tradition, like town meetings, if there's just nothing there.