Media Nights 2013 Reviewed

Media Nights 2013 by: Kearah-Armonie Jeudy http://kearmonie.blogspot.com/

Media Nights 2013, the first of two consecutive nights was held in the production studio of the Whitehead Hall on Tuesday October 15th, and was a success. The room was soon filled with journalists, professors, guest speakers, and of course media/communications students of all kind. We were all in for a night which would be an informative and entertaining homework assignment.

While the long line of students went past the Library Café garden it quickly swarm the production room we were handed our tickets, had our photos taken, and were given the opportunity to write questions on index cards for the Q&A later on. You had to register before hand and a lot of TV and Radio majors were there.

Each speaker was very inspirational and all had accounts which were geared towards ‘the now’, our generation and the future of media. If you hadn’t already known we are in a predominantly digital age and this effects communication greatly, in positive and negative ways.

A highlight of the night was our first speaker was Mark Fonseca Rendeiro’s presentation. Rendeiro is an alternative journalist and independent podcast producer. Rendeiro gave a quick, detailed account on how he fell into this world of what he calls “new media”, podcasting. Throughout his presentation Rendeiro let it be known that so many other podcasters had lost interest or initially started to earn money, but he was in it because he enjoyed podcasting. His presentation was rather humorous as well as relatable. Although we are all students and had not yet ventured off to accomplish all that Rendeiro has, his story was very relatable and understandable. It is easy to say “I would do the same thing”; especially when it comes to doing something that you love. It was very clear that each of our speakers for the night do love their careers.

The following speakers included Professor John Anderson, Director of Broadcast Journalism in Brooklyn College’s Department of TV and Radio; Media literacy advocate and author Rory O’Connor; and InsideClimate News publisher David Sasoon.

Professor Anderson’s presentation was entitled “Radio’s Digital Dilemma”, highlighting the pros and cons of HD radio. This entire segment was enlightening and entertaining, and brought the debate of analog radio vs. digital radio to our attention. Media is changing but it may not be the best.

O’connor’s brief lecture had a similar idea. O’connor introduced his topic with a song: “Something In The Air” by Thunderclap Newman. The lyrics are:

Call out the instigators

Because there’s something in the air

We’ve got to get together sooner or later

Because the revolution’s here, and you know it’s right.

These lyrics can be used to describe what is happening right now, we are currently in a digital information revolution.

Finally, our last speaker of the night was David Sassoon, the founder and publisher of Pulitzer-prize winning InsideClimate News; most popular for their coverage of The Dilbit Disaster.  The Dilbit Disaster was a large oil spill which had gotten little to no publicity despite the number of people affected. That is Sassoon’s goal, to tell stories that are not being told; he stated that everything on the news is basically the same; students could not argue with him there.  Despite almost losing the story, Sassoon and his team, pursued it anyway and found the documents to properly report this occurrence.

What seemed to be the unintentional focal point of the evening is that media is growing and changing, this change is inevitable but what matters is how we use it. The convenience of everything being digital is very important but now-a-days, in the news everyone can now report the news. There is no middle man and there are no gatekeepers. This is simple and helpful but also leaves the door open for there to be more untruths and unimportant stories to be passed around. Overall, Media Nights was entertaining, informative and inspiring.

 

 

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