Sunday, September 14, 2008

NYU Student Writes…

Mediashift, a weblog that tracks down popular and trend setting work from new media has posted a blog by, Alana Taylor, an NYU student. Taylor, an undergraduate journalism student gives an insider view into what she is dealing with.

In her class of 16, Taylor feels singled out. Just like any other Internet user she has embraced new media, but has a deeper involvement than her peers. She maintains her blog, uses twitter and also assists the social media department of a family programming company.

Taylor was hoping to use and enhance that knowledge in her NYU class. But her professor hasn’t reached the extremely web-savvy status. Infact the professor is still very far behind in the new media race.

The professor stresses that blog writing is not journalism. Taylor’s quotes, “What is so fascinating about the move from print to digital is the freedom to be your own publisher, editor, marketer, and brand. But, surprisingly, NYU does not offer the kinds of classes I want. It continues to focus its core requirements around learning how to work your way up the traditional journalism ladder.”

Taylor points out that there is a sense of struggle and rigidity involved for traditional journalists, like her professor, to make that shift into new media. It is the digital age and one cannot ignore that there is a parallel platform for writers and non-writers to make their presence felt.

As a journalism student, I find myself between a Taylor and her professor. I have a facebook account and blog but still the idea to be so out there and easily accessible to the world frightens me. I understand the importance of new media and its growing popularity but I do feel bad for declining popularity of newspapers.

Inspite of Taylor’s extensive mention on her professor’s closed mindedness towards new media, she deeply respects her as a writer. Here’s where Taylor needs to take a moment and think that you need strong journalistic training and experience to earn that name. Though Taylor has a better place in my multimedia class.

As channels for new and old media grow, it is getting more and more obvious that each medium (whether a blog or feature for a magazine) needs different set of writing skills. Each medium needs individual attention to training.

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