TK

Today’s topic: Go to your drafts folder and finish an old post – Go back and grab a half-written post and just get it done.

I found this draft from Nov. 2009:

In magazines, TK is a symbol for “to come,” meaning a certain number or percentage is on the way. Tomorrow, TK will stand for Tom Kennedy – he’s visiting the intimate setting of my magazine editing class at Newhouse. To prepare, I’ve been scouring his Web site where I found a link to his Twitter. His latest tweet: “Looking forward to another week at Syracuse University talking with students and faculty about multimedia and the reinvention of journalism.” Kennedy also graduated cum laude with a journalism degree from the University of Florida. Go Gators!

His presentation included ideas on fusing different media elements together for a richer, fuller story. Enlightened schools like Newhouse, he said, are preparing students to be “supple,” yet one of the biggest challenges, he said, is how to best use visual elements to tell a story. He told us to expand upon still photography and look at Hollywood for inspiration – it’s all about learning a visual language. The design of the web, he said, is still in the print paradigm, not like the unfolding motion on a TV show or in Hollywood.

It’s similiar to tennis, he said. “You might have a wicked foreheand but you have to get comfortable with your weak hand.”

Adobe’s Flash Player, he said, is the velcro in multimedia at this point and the most logical thing for writers to learn. Still on my to-do list. Check out a multimedia journalist’s example here.

Mr. Kennedy also spoke about backpack journalism and where it’s best applied. Miniturization has become a fact, he said, much like a doctor’s bag. With him, he carries a low level HD video camera, along with a point-and-shoot camera, a laptop and his iPhone. Still need to find a tool belt for journalists.

The most important piece of advice I took from his presentation was about having your own voice, “a personal brand,” he said, and creating your own core identity. As journalists and artists, he said, we can’t ignore our own interests so much that we don’t have an exit strategy available. We have to leverage our passions and skills to creative something for ourselves. Don’t become a hostage to your vision, he said – it’s not inappropriate to have your own ambitions. The industry is going back to the days of Guttenberg. Journalism is a medieval craft, he said, with the challenge now to rediscover and recreate powerful, meaningful content.

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