Thank you, Scripps!

I’ve been out of town since last Thursday. I spent the first few days in Indianapolis, attending the Ted Scripps Leadership Institute. It’s a boot camp organized by the Society of Professional Journalists to equip participants with the leadership and interpersonal skills they need to run local chapters of the organizations as well as spur potential candidates for national leadership.

It was an amazing training. I felt for the first time in a little while that all is not gloom and doom. In general, I try not to succumb to such things, but lately I couldn’t help but feel depressed about things. I think I was overwhelmed with things at work and it just made feel bad. I guess we all deal with that sometimes.

Anyway the training was a wake-up call about the importance of my involvement in my local SPJ chapter. I learned a lot more about how SPJ is run nationally. I also learned about all the neat resources the organization has to offer.

One of my favorite parts of the weekend was sort of a speed dating-esque session designed to discuss ideas with other participants on everything from recruiting and retaining local chapter members to programming ideas. I came away from that session with a ton of notes.

I also met some great people. We also had quite a bit of time to get to know each other. The organizers always had us sit with different people during each session and there was plenty of time to talk during mealtimes. It was tough to get to interact with everyone in such a short time, but there were a few people I ended up really having some great talks with. The best part is knowing that I have some folks that I can contact if I need some inspiration or to bounce ideas with.

Other fun stuff: a run around the IUPUI campus, duckpin bowling, a shipping container art exhibit and a drag show for the ages.

Now my focus is trying to process all this information and put it to good use. I have scheduled a time for myself to process all the notes and figure out how to best implement these ideas.

There’s so many ways to communicate

But am I giving it my best? I have a Facebook profile and a fan page for my blog. I have a 2 Twitter accounts. I have this personal blog as well as my blog for my newspaper. I have a MySpace account. Oh yeah I still have an e-mail account and a cell phone.

I would like to think these tools are helping me communicate better with my friends and the people who read my writing. But what happens it that certain things (this blog, for example) are left with no updates while I give quickie updates elsewhere.

I know that people have short attention spans. (Heck, I do!) But I can’t help but wonder if this will end my ability to sit down and really process something fully. Or express what I’m thinking fully.

That’s what I’m thinking about Facebook. Too bad you can’t fit that in a little box.

Goodbye, Seattle PI.

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I have the final printed edition in my hands, purchased for $1.00. But to me, that paper will be priceless. It represents so many things.

  • The end of a two-newpspaer town
  • The realization that yes, print newspapers will die, and it will happen sooner, not later
  • The destruction of dreams and hopes for 100 or so journalists, photographers, copy editors and other staff members who worked for years, their entire lives to develop their craft.
  • The beginning of the digital age of newspapers, which is scary for many.

So where does that put me? I am exploring, thinking, brainstorming on what this new age of journalism means for someone like myself, a 20-something reporter who has pursue the path for more than a decade.

I guess I have time to develop a new career. But I’m not just ready to give up this one yet.

Here is the good news today….

My industry is changing.

For better and for worse.

I bet most of you are inclined to believe that most of it is bad. And a lot of is bad. Several newspaper companies are in bankruptcy or in danger of such, newspapers continue to try to layoff out of trouble and the revenue for our print products products have continued to dwindle.

But there is very much good going on here. And I think for the next few entries, I’m going to try to write about good stuff I see going on.

  • I want to send props to the Seattle chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association. (Disclaimer: I am involved in this organization) They have been aggressive about pushing discussion on how our industry can reinvent ourselves. Most recently they held “Choppy Waters” a conference on new ways we can distribute information. And as someone personally trying to figure out how to deal with things, I’m glad I have the support of this organization to help me along.
  • Tracy Record, of West Seattle Blog, is one of my new media heroes. And I have to say that the name is a misnomer — this is a full news site and Tracy is a really great journalist. She basically took what was a hobby and turned it into something that people check on a daily basis. And it makes enough money so Record and her family can live.
  • Finally I want to give props to Todd Bishop and John Cook of Tech Flash. The former Seattle PI reporters have basically provided a very comprehensive news site on technology. I was a big fan of both when they were blogging for the PI, and I’m glad to see that it has evolved to this site. If you love technology, you got to check it out.

I’m sick of hearing the bad news. Yes, Virginia, journalism can survive. And thrive.

Countdown to 2009

With a new year coming up, I’ve been thinking about the changes I want to make for my life. I realize that most people do this every year, but I’ve always been on the stance that it’s good to make GOALS, not these broad resolutions (i.e. lose weight, save money).

In 2008, it seems that everyone was taken by surprise in a horrible way. I don’t want that to happen to me, whether it’s in my personal life or in my career. So I’ll be spending the next few weeks thinking about what goals I ought to be making for next year that will keep me prepared for just about anything.

And really 2008 was pretty good:

  • I went to South Korea for an entire month. Not only did I get to experience a new culture, I got to do an awesome project for the newspaper about the popularity of Northwest sweet cherries there.
  • UNITY 2008 in Chicago. I got to know some of the AAJA Seattle crew better and made some new friends from other parts of the country. Also I learned a whole lot about multimedia, reporting and doing a kick ass job everyday.
  • I ran the Royal Victoria Marathon (half-marathon!). I ran it in 2:31:45, much faster than the half I ran in Chicago in 2005.

So yeah, I can’t complain.

A new direction

So I haven’t updated this blog in a while. And for the five people who read it, I apologize for the lack of entries.

Anyway, I thought about my Web site and what I would want it to be. I realize that I have a real opportunity to develop this into something really good.  I’ve seen some great Web sites out there (and from my friends). It’s inspired me to put a little work in this blog.  Eventually, I’d like this blog to be part of a comprehensive Web site.

To start, I have tabs to add my resume and my clips, so you can get to know a little more about my professional life. The blog will be a mix of stories, news, tidbits from both my personal and professional life.

The goal is simple — to learn to maintain and build a personal Web site and blog that will help me develop my web page making skills, my video making skills and any other -making skills required to function in the Triple-W.

Any suggestions you may have on entering this venture would be greatly appreciated.

Simple goals…

Jerome has exposed a major weakness in me last night. I tend to analyze myself and everything I’m thinking about so much that I end up paralyzed from taking any action. I realize that you can only do so much thinking and you have take action.

The problem with my goals, that I’ve thought so much about it, read so much about it, I stopped doing anything about it.

So the decision? Focus on one or two goals at a time (personal and work-related). And just figure out the first/next step.

Here are my personal goals (and the next action).

— Pay off  $1,800 in debt. (I spent a little much in S. Korea!) and have at least $2,000 in my emergency fund by the end of the summer. (Next step: develop a payment plan….)

— Be trained to run the Royal Victoria Marathon on October 12.  (Next step: Follow runner’s world returning runner’s plan until July 7 and have a long run of 65 minutes (approx 4-4.5 miles).

Encouragement is needed!!