Columbia Media Conference

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending Columbia Media Conference on behalf of my own school's student newspaper. We were invited by the staff of the Spectator (Columbia's daily), who were by the way super nice. Though I only write for the my schools newspaper as a hobby without any journalistic aspirations at all whatsoever, I still loved hearing the speakers since I am total news junkie. It was almost surreal to see the people I read daily online appear in the flesh before me.

There were many notable people there that I recognized. The panel started off with questions on investigative journalism in our new era of journalism, featuring the SUPER EPIC AWESOMENESS that is Jeffrey Klein of Mother Jones and Prorepublica's Paul Steiger. The second panel dealt with careers in today's media landscape. As you can see from the pic, Margaret Sullivan was there as NYTimes' current public editor. She only started in September, but already her column/blog has attracted winning reviews (I find it quite meta to see Joe Coscarelli who wrote the article on the Daily Intel was also present at the conference, as seen on the far right here). Megan Greenwell (formerly managing editor of Good Magazine) was also a name that I recognized. She and a number of her former coworkers from Good worked on an awesome one-off issue passion project named Tomorrow. Ever since the Good's random firing of their editorial staff en masse, I could not bring myself to read their material again.

From this other panel of speakers, here are more amazing editors/journalists/writers but just to highlight Brian Stelter, who was basically the protagonist of Page One, the documentary of NYTimes, since he was featured in it so much.

Why am I writing about the conference might you ask? These two panels I've picked here talked extensively about modern day journalism and in particular, digital journalism. Though I came as part of my school's newspaper, it was my most blog-related thing I've attended in IRL (though possibly the most blog-y event I will attend since I find most exclusively blog-related events too "fluffy" for my liking? I can't quite put my finger on the exact word). I don't see any real distinctions between a modern digital journalist and a blogger really. Good bloggers share the same kind of enthusiasm and respect for good writing and honesty. They too abide by their own code of ethics. I just wanted to share that the event really pushed me to be better at my blog, even if just as a side passion project more than anything. The blog so far has been such a good channel for my thoughts on my own shopping habits, my ever changing aesthetics, style in general and especially on the intersection between Economics (the love of my left brain) and fashion (the love of my right brain). I don't see readers as invisible nebulous entities clicking through; everyone (and especially a commentator) is a person, a human being, a friend. I can nerd out, I can rant. I haven't blogged as frequently as I used to in the past and rest assured I aim to correct that, from feeding off of the fuzzy feel-good-ness of learning to love the act of blogging all over again. :)

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