Tag Archives: mizzou

The Spring 2015 Mizzou Mag Club Trip, in Quotes

Select quotes from the annual Mizzou Magazine Club trip to New York, where we toured magazines, quizzed editors and mingled with alumni. These quotes tell the story of what we learned.

“Nobody gets hired on GPA, where you went to school, how you structure your resume… It’s who you are.”

Ryan D’Agostino, Editor-in-Chief of Popular Mechanics and former manager of the band Dispatch

“If you end up working at a smaller publication and doing a lot, that can sometimes be better.”

Sara Gaynes Levy, Features Editor of SELF Magazine, talking about summer internship opportunities

“Look for where there is a need and fill it. Every magazine has a blind spot.”

Jesse Kissinger, Assistant Editor of Esquire giving internship advice

Touring SELF Magazine with Tova Diamond.
Touring SELF Magazine with Tova Diamond.

“If you’re not up for a wild adventure for the next ten years, find a different career.”

Richard Dorment, Senior Editor of Esquire Magazine

“Your ideas should always outsize your resources.”

Andrew Del-Colle, Senior Editor of Popular Mechanics and WVU and MU grad

“It’s sexist, it’s disgusting… It makes more money than anything we publish.”

Mark Godich, Senior Editor of Sports Illustrated and MU graduate, talking about the annual Swimsuit Edition of SI

 

Real talk with Mara Reinstein of Us Weekly
Real talk with Mara Reinstein of Us Weekly

“Your magazine must always be evolving – as an editor, that’s your role.”

Lindsay Schallon, Features Editor of Seventeen Magazine and MU grad

“I think there’s a lot more value in personal experiences than people realize.”

Tova Diamond, Senior Designer of SELF Magazine and MU grad, talking about independent passion projects

“Don’t be afraid to tell people what you’re gonna do – don’t just have them tell you what to do.”

Joe Bargmann, Special Projects Director of Popular Mechanics

“I suggest you live life beyond your wildest dreams.”

– Allyson Torrisi, Director of Photography at Popular Mechanics

 

 

Edelman Worldwide: The Dark Side?

This post is part of a series about a class trip to Seattle. 

Day 2 and it still hasn’t stopped raining. We wake up too early and destroy complimentary breakfast and head downtown to the Seattle newsroom of Edelman, a worldwide public relations and marketing firm. Absolutely nobody has done research on Edelman, but by God we know where to find doughnuts. 

After a parking fiasco we file into a swanky office building near the Belltown part of Seattle. Marty directs us to go to the 24th floor, and we discover it’s the top. What!

We stumble out of the elevator and are immediately struck by the gorgeous view. In the style of modern buildings, mixed concrete and carpet floors lead to full-length windows on all sides. Maude and superfluous office furniture is everywhere, and the office has a futuristic vibe. There are no cubicles.

Landscapes

A post shared by Bryan Bumgardner (@bryanbumgardner) on

 

Young attractive people work at standing desks and laugh together. None of the guys are wearing ties and most women aren’t wearing high heels. There’s a huge community kitchen with a free Keurig. We drool.

In retrospect, this was a defining moment. Look at the place you could work. Look at the pretty people. Look at the pretty view. This could all be yours. 

Mizzou alum Cherylynne Crowder greets us and takes us into a side room for a frank discussion. We stand around half-constructed desks as she explains the office space is new. That’s probably why she didn’t lead us to a conference room.

So what do all these young people do, exactly?

In discussions about storytelling, brand trust and understanding trends, we discover Edelman is a PR firm through and through.

“I’m always thinking about the next new trend,” Crowder says, “Just the same as journalists, we’re always looking for the next new story.”

Her lessons sound vaguely familiar. “We need utility infielders – you have to be the next Renaissance person,” she says to a question about skills. “I have about 12 seconds to get the journalist’s attention.”

She goes on to discuss the changing nature of communication.

“For decades people yelled at the TV – now we’re closing the loop,” she says. Direct to consumer marketing is bringing people closer to the brands they love and boy, does it sound a whole lot like journalism.

She discusses the Trust Barometer.

“Media isn’t very highly trusted,” she says.

Two guys walk up to the group. One turns around a computer to reveal a MS Paint drawing of “Go Mizzou Tigers!” The mafia is everywhere. 

Rob, a young account executive in a plaid shirt, steps forward. He goes on to describe the storytelling he gets to do, all the multiplatform and emerging technology he uses. A story is told about a photographer that gets to swim with Great White sharks.

“What are the new ways we can tell familiar stories?” he says, referencing brand identities on various platforms.

He sounds like a journalist, but he isn’t. It’s perplexing. I challenge him.

“A lot of people, especially in our newsrooms at Mizzou, consider what you do to be the “dark side” of journalism,” I say. “What would you say to those people?”

He grins through frustration, like this is an argument he’s tired of making.

“I take pride in my skill set,” he says, “I’m a storyteller at heart, and I gotta make a living. If journalism can’t help you tell stories, find the channels that can.”

Another executive, Tyler, who just finished describing helping Microsoft start an Instagram, shares his perspective.

“In this job you get to work for stuff you believe in,” he says. “I don’t pitch stuff I don’t believe in.”

Rob closes his part with some strong words.

“Journalism is not the only place to do good.”

Exhausted from standing, we go for a tour around the building and head out. Quotes ring through my head.

Journalism is not the only place to do good. If Journalism can’t help you tell stories, find the channels that can. I take pride in my skill set. Media isn’t very highly trusted. 

edelmanview

 

 

Mizzou and bold new frontiers

Interactive data visualizations are all the rage these days, with major news organizations like the WSJ and the New York Times setting up interactive desks that churn out engrossing, compelling visualizations.

Mike Jenner, the Houston Harte Chair in Journalism at Mizzou and data visualization extraordinaire, set up a workshop back in October where dataviz journalists Chris Canipe (WSJ), Andrew Garcia-Phillips (Chartball) and Leah Becerra (Omaha World-Herald) came and taught us all D3, a Javascript library of data visualization, in one speedy weekend.

Check out that last link for some awesome data visualizations that capture the power of D3.

In one hot-and-heavy 16 hour sprint, we got the basics in Data Viz. Nobody left as data experts, but the class exposed lots of students to the future of digital journalism.

This was huge for one reason: while Chris, Andrew and Leah were all self-taught in data viz, they brought what they learned to an academic environment.  

After the class, Madi Alexander and myself organized the Mizzou Data Viz Club, where we met and tried to hang on to the skills we learned. (Madi recently got an internship at the NYT as a digital reporting intern. Hooray!)

In a conversation with Mike, I discovered he wanted to make a longer-term class, he just needed pledges that students would take it.

Our Dataviz club had the students and he had the resources. It was like the planets aligned.

Mike moved swiftly, organizing an 8-week course in D3 with Chris for this spring semester. I helped him design the posters to advertise it and recruited a bunch of students to join the class. Chris drives in occasionally from his home in Saint Louis, where he works remotely for the WSJ.

Our skills levels are all over the board, from accomplished programmers to brand new students. The class is open and modular with each student working at their own pace. It’s pitched together and sometimes challenging, but I want to outline a list why this Data Visualization class is wildly important to the future of Mizzou journalism academics.

1. Data visualization skills are in high demand. The success of Mizzou’s CAR and Data Reporting classes are testament to this. We teach the students how to find the data and how to pull stories from it, but now we’re on the cutting edge of visualizing it.

2. Most people who know this stuff were self taught, and our class is the foundation for rigorous academic improvement of the subject. By turning this into an academic affair, we make it easier for students to learn the basics quickly. Once people are learning it, they can move beyond and improve it, developing new techniques and taking those to industry publications.

3. It’s confusing, challenging and uneven – but it’s happening and we’re moving forward, setting standards for future dataviz classes. After this is over, we’ll know what kind of classes should be required for prerequisites. We’ll understand gaps in the digital knowledge of the journalists we’re training. We’ll know what kind of classes we need to establish a powerful data journalism sequence courses. This is us surging into a new frontier for science, know what I mean?

As we move forward, I’ll inevitably have more to say about this venture, so stay tuned.

Why you should learn Dataviz now

The other weekend I sat in on a Data Visualization introductory class taught over three days by three professionals in the business: Chris Canipe of The Wall Street Journal, Andrew Garcia Phillips of ChartBall.com, and Leah Becerra of the Omaha World-Herald.

In a quick and dirty 16-hour sprint, we were introduced to programming a variety of tools, including HighCharts, D3, and various text editing software.

Using these tools, we built a basic interactive graph using raw sports data. Numbers go in, beautiful pictures come out. This stuff is cutting edge – peep some gorgeous examples here. One of Mizzou’s own used these kinds of data visualizations to win a Pulitzer, and these graphics are common at the New York Times and The WSJ.

The weekend was crazy. Basically, a whole bunch of journalism nerds got together and did nerdy journalism stuff. And it was exceedingly awesome, and you should feel bad that you missed it.

But fret not – you can learn these highly demanded skills on your own with a little determination. Here’s why (and how) you should.

1. Because it’s part of the future of journalism. Take a look at journalism’s history and you’ll notice the people on the cutting edge are always the most successful, whether it’s Ben Franklin and his printing presses or ABC and color television. Take a lesson from the greats and secure your spot in journalism’s shining future, or something like that.

2. Because it’s a wild storytelling tool that helps audiences process the internet’s infinite stores of data. Journalists are no longer “gatekeepers” – if people want to know something, they can find any information they want on the internet. The flipside? There’s so much data, so many websites, that people get turned off by the gushing stream. Data visualizations help people process and explore vast amounts of data. All you do is hold their hand through it.

3. BECAUSE YOU CAN LEARN IT ON YOUR OWN FOR FREE. Like, seriously. Programming is becoming an easy skill to learn on your own, and all the journalists who taught this course taught themselves first. Explore sites like CodeAcademy, TreeHouse, Github, and W3 schools and you could know as much as anyone with a computer science degree. For D3 specifically, start here.

4. Because if you’re a Mizzou student, we just started a data visualization club, and there might potentially be a class in the spring. Jump on it.

The Journalist’s Creed: Revisted

The Journalist’s Creed is a document written by Walter Williams, the first dean of the Missouri School of Journalism. Gender-specific pronouns aside, this is one of the most important manifestos ever written about journalism. In fact, it’s worth revisiting with a few annotations. The Creed is in Bold. 

The Journalist’s Creed

I believe in the profession of journalism. Before journalism became a paid profession, it was a moonlight hobby. Many writers had jobs in politics and government, creating natural conflicts of interest. Having full-time journalists ensures excellence and intelligence. 

I believe that the public journal is a public trust; that all connected with it are, to the full measure of their responsibility, trustees for the public; that acceptance of a lesser service than the public service is betrayal of this trust. The journalist is betrothed to their readers; the very nature of our industry outlines our responsibility to protect and preserve the public good. 

I believe that clear thinking and clear statement, accuracy and fairness are fundamental to good journalism. Naturally. 

I believe that a journalist should write only what he holds in his heart to be true. Many journalists will tell you they cannot write things that are not true, and many more have resigned to protect these stout personal values. This is the mark of a great journalist. 

I believe that suppression of the news, for any consideration other than the welfare of society, is indefensible. Democracy cannot function without the checks of the 4th Estate.

I believe that no one should write as a journalist what he would not say as a gentleman; that bribery by one’s own pocketbook is as much to be avoided as bribery by the pocketbook of another; that individual responsibility may not be escaped by pleading another’s instructions or another’s dividends. This echoes a previous point. Journalists should be fully and deeply committed to their ethical values. To corrupt the public trust with bribery and excuses is to betray the responsibility of our industry. 

I believe that advertising, news and editorial columns should alike serve the best interests of readers; that a single standard of helpful truth and cleanness should prevail for all; that the supreme test of good journalism is the measure of its public service. This outlines standards for the relationships between advertising, opinion and editorial, but notice it doesn’t define that relationship for publications. How much of a public service does your publication provide?

I believe that the journalism which succeeds best — and best deserves success — fears God and honors Man; is stoutly independent, unmoved by pride of opinion or greed of power, constructive, tolerant but never careless, self-controlled, patient, always respectful of its readers but always unafraid, is quickly indignant at injustice; is unswayed by the appeal of privilege or the clamor of the mob; seeks to give every man a chance and, as far as law and honest wage and recognition of human brotherhood can make it so, an equal chance; is profoundly patriotic while sincerely promoting international good will and cementing world-comradeship; is a journalism of humanity, of and for today’s world. This needs no interpretation. As you go forward, let the lessons of Walter Williams echo in your work, and someday you may be a journalist as great as he. Wise shall be the bearers of light.