The Editor in Chief of National Geographic, Susan Goldberg, was our first speaker of the day giving insight into the world of National Geographic as well as the way a news company of their type is run. She put an extreme emphasis on the direction they are heading pertaining to social media, repeatedly enforcing that Nat Geo is the leading brand on the social media site Instagram. The specificity of Nat Geo's so called "Explorers" (the people who are hired to write and photograph stories) are unmatched in their field. There are photographers who explicitly photograph urban profiles or underwater mammals or aerial views. I was intrigued to learn how specific these Explorers are and that it is not at all random who is hired for each story. Nat Geo is mainly, if not all, produced (written and photographed) by free lance writers who come in to do a story here and there, allowing for much more specific and detailed articles. She also may or may not have given us the titles and topics for articles of the rest of 2015.
Tuesday afternoon was spent at the National Press Club where we heard from a politics panel of Jennifer Bendery (Huffington Post @jbendery) and Richard Wolf (USA Today @richardjwolf). Getting a closer look into the politics side of journalism was very informative. One of the most interesting things I took away from their panel is how the government and press interact. For example Congress will supply the press with information and conversation all day long where as the White House and Supreme Court will leak no information. Ever. It was also surprising to hear that all the stories we see in the news regarding big political decisions were all pre-written. What I mean by that is the reporters will write every possible verdict knowing that when the real one comes out they can add a few quotes and publish it within 20 seconds of the information being received. I did not know that was how it worked in today's age of technology, but I'm not really sure what else I expected. The point that was stressed the most was to continue to be curious. Always ask questions that you care about too. While, yes, there is a job at hand you are also doing this job because it is what matters to you, so don't be afraid to ask your own questions too.
The last panel at the National Press Club was given by Sonya Ross (@sonyagal) who is the Race and Ethnicity Editor for the Associated Press. Her speech was extremely moving, giving me confidence in the ability to achieve one's passions and goals without coming from being given every opportunity to automatically succeed. The most moving part of her speech was her story of being with President Bush during the 9/11 attacks. I have heard all the stories, read the books, watched the films, but there is something different about hearing it face to face from a person who was right at the heart of it on the political side, physically WITH the president. It was heart wrenching and amazing. Her main tip of advice seems easy enough to follow: use common sense. She believes that there is an endless amount of information to be found if you navigate the world with common sense.
The final panel of the day was a sports journalism panel. This was the least intriguing part of the day for me. I do not have an interest in sports journalism and tend to become annoyed by sports journalism as it is a game of facts and speculation. The questions asked were not very engaging although the high was to hear them discuss if college athletes should be paid. All of them said no and when I asked if they believed the NCAA should allow universities to give more scholarships to athletes. They, again, said no claiming that universities do not have any money to give more scholarships. I find this very hard to believe with the millions division I football teams bring in and the fact that tuition is outrageous. If they can't afford to give a few more kids more financial help for working extremely hard physically, then where is the money really going? That is my view anyway.
So Tuesday was a long, interesting day. At first when I started this recap I thought I was going to summarize the whole thing in one post, but I quickly realized I could not do that. So I guess I'm going to write out a full post for each day. Hopefully this was a little informative!