First of all, a big thanks to everyone who came out to the first-annual Columbia Media Conference! We’ve had great feedback from panelists and attendees alike and are looking forward to doing it again next year. However, if you weren’t able to make it, all is not lost. @ColumbiaSpec kept us all up-to-date on particularly insightful remarks from speakers via live-Tweet.
The event kicked off with Mother Jones co-founder Jeffrey Klein and ProPublica’s founder, EIC, and president Paul Steiger’s keynote. Here are some of the top tweets from the talk:
@ColumbiaSpec: Mother Jones co-founder Jeffrey Klein says that to be a good investigative reporter you need “to take tremendous glee in what you’re doing.”
@ColumbiaSpec: “You must be the most distrustful person in the world” to be a great investigative reporter, Klein says. #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: Steiger says that more than great writing skills, his reporters must have “the courage to do a story that has a spearpoint.” #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: Klein: “It’s not, ‘Speak truth to power’…it’s, ‘Are you willing to speak truth to puncture power?’” #cmc2012
Next was Panel I on “Career paths in today’s media landscape,” featuring panelists Joe Coscarelli, assistant editor at the Daily Intel; Emily Gould, founder of Emily Books; Megan Greenwell, senior editor at ESPN the Magazine; Joy Resmovits, national education reporter at Huffington Post; Margaret Sullivan, public editor of the New York Times.
@ColumbiaSpec: NYT Public Editor Margaret Sullivan starts by telling us there are now half as many paid journalists as there were 10 years ago. #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: Greenwell tells aspiring journos to use Tumblr, Twitter as often as possible. Her current job is a “social media success story.”#cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: @NYMag‘s Joe Coscarelli says he’s gotten jobs thru good work, not his brand: “Tweeting isn’t a job. It’s not even really a skill.”#cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: Sullivan: Traditional news orgs “desperately trying to become very digital,” which makes young journalists “very marketable.”#cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: @HuffPostEdu‘s Joy Resmovits says that experience and reporting skills are “still the bread and butter of what gets you hired.”#cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: Panelists generally agree that traditional journalism experience and a digital media brand both important for getting a job. #cmc2012
From Panel II on “Modern media revenue strategies,” with panelists: Jason Chupick, vice president for public relations at Harper’s Magazine; Jonathan Dunn, associate principal, media & entertainment practice at McKinsey & Company; Bill Grueskin, dean of academic affairs at Columbia Journalism School; Choire Sicha, founder & editor in chief of The Awl; Jon Steinberg, president & chief operating officer of BuzzFeed; and Matt Turck, publisher of Slate.
@ColumbiaSpec: The media industry has been “throwing up paywalls” instead of developing innovative adveristing, says @buzzfeed prez@jonsteinberg#cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: A paywall “strikes me as a defensive move,” and it’s time to move to offense—@Columbiajourn academic dean & former @WSJ exec Bill Grueskin
@ColumbiaSpec: Some print publishers don’t realize that “a lot of traditional newspaper content doesn’t work that well online”—Bill Grueskin#cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: Tablets are “the place to be for longform, it’s a fantastic experience”—@Harpers VP @jasonchupick #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: “People do not debate whether the iPad’s good,” and more advertising for that platform is needed—@jonsteinberg #cmc2012
Final panel on “Next steps for digital journalism,” where the talk centered mostly around, appropriately enough, Twitter. Cast for Panel III included Blake Eskin, co-founder & editorial director of 29th Street Publishing; Katherine Goldstein, innovations editor at Slate; Heidi Moore, finance and economics editor, The Guardian; Gabriel Snyder, editor, Atlantic Wire; and Brian Stelter, media reporter at the New York Times.
After proclaiming the supreme importance of the iPad in journalism and the sad fact that print media will, after a while, die, the panelists turned to discussing the role of readers’ comments:
@ColumbiaSpec: “I respect the power of commenters… But there was no commenter telling me Lehman bros was going to collapse”— @moorehn #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: “There’s still a huge ecosystem out there that relies on comments and uses it as a way to connect”—@kgeee #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: There are insightful commenters and those who just say “shame shame shame,” even on a story about peanut butter, says @kgeee#cmc2012
Switching gears to the Twitter debate and online-only content…:
@ColumbiaSpec: “Twitter doesn’t replace the hard work of reporting… You have to be able to put away the phone to be a journalist”— @moorehn #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: “You need to participate in the conversations,” says @bdeskin, comparing @twitter to a
“giant cocktail party” #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: “I think @Newsweek is smart to” go online-only, and other papers will follow, including
@ColumbiaSpec, predicts @moorehn #cmc2012
@ColumbiaSpec: Twitter is now a requirement for the profession, says @brianstelter#cmc2012