I'm in the UA Engineering Sciences Library stretching my legs between workshops during a journalism training last Saturday organized by the UA School of Journalism and the Arizona Daily Star. The focus was on data reporting—collecting and organizing information to understand the story, and further, turning that information into interactive maps and graphics.
The term data reporting has been used for sometime, and the skills given at these workshops are invaluable. Thank you J-school and ADS for putting this one together. What's always wonderful about workshops is having that time to brainstorm to yourself and sometimes other staff attending—leaving with a list of ideas and a roadmap. But I also like the sense of community these workshops create, and having it be local makes it even more important.
There was a time when there was a sense of lively competitiveness with large healthy publications being part of what was also a robust city. The recession changed most of that, which also created a competition that seemed more like a dog drowning and clawing at the sides of a well. Right now, it feels like that's changed, but perhaps its with purpose, perhaps a we-are-all-in-this-together attitude, with our lust for competition around the edges (we're human).
OK, so while stretching those legs, I also talked with a UA journalism instructor on media and life, and my own challenges excepting what seems like the inevitable—that Buzzfeed-style journalism is what readers want or what readers are capable of digesting in this digital age. Ugh. Evidently, long-form journalism is out. News isn't that interesting. Well-written arts, music and food writing, is, well, meh. What is the new model supposed to look like in the end? I don't think anyone really knows. I still like what our writers produce. It's all part of some great learning curve, right? I'm at my desk, sitting up straight, and pencil is sharpened. However, this is more like a big pile of clay. I'll put a smock on instead. Forward.