The Brave New World of New Media

Stony Brook Papers.JPG

(Stony Brook, New York)

My book was born from a blog!

Whenever I do speaking engagements on my book tour, the question inevitably comes up: “When did you decide to write a book?” Quite honestly, when I began my journey on the campaign trail in January, 2008, the idea of writing a book wasn’t even on my mind. I was just going to cover the campaign as a freelance reporter and political analyst while looking for a new full-time job. It took about three months for the light to go on in my head and flash, “Mark, you should write a book!”

My blog was born in West Des Moines, Iowa. Paul Fifield, the photographer with whom I was working, suggested it. It was a hard sell. I had heard about blogs and thought they were frivolous, with people posting what I thought to be akin to online diaries. “Who cares what I think?” was my response to Paul. Then again, he’s about half my age; and I thought, "Maybe this kid from the new generation of journalism knows something I don’t."

Paul was right. I built the blog, started getting daily comments from readers, and I have been writing about politics-- on and off the road-- almost every day since. The blog became my campaign digest, as I went from town to town throughout most of 2008. What started in January in Iowa continued to the following January at the Inauguration and lives on today. A lot of what I blogged about daily on the campaign trail morphed into my book, “Age of Obama: A Reporter’s Journey with Clinton, McCain and Obama in the Making of the President 2008” (Nimble Books, LLC).

I am talking about this today because I continue on my book tour in New York City. I am also out on Long Island today, because I have applied for a couple of online journalism teaching jobs at Stony Brook University. Stony Brook has one of the most cutting-edge programs in the country; and it is also one of the youngest. The School of Journalism opened in 2006 and now hosts the Center for News Literacy, a program that is trying to teach both educators and consumers what constitutes journalism in 2009 and the internet age. (Some campus publications are in the photo above).

Newspapers are dying right and left; and local television and radio are hurting badly, as the public surges to more online news and information. The good news is that there is a lot of good, solid journalistic-standards-based news on the web. The bad news is that there is also a lot of baloney. Often it’s not easy to sort out the difference. The Center for News Literacy is pioneering in its aim to teach how to do just that.

An author recently spoke on campus here. David Mindich wrote the book, “Tuned Out: Why Americans Under 40 Don’t Follow the News.” I have not read it yet, but can’t wait! Pollster Frank Luntz discovered a key paradigm shift in news usage in 2008. For the first time, one of his polls indicated that Americans ages 18 to 30 did not use newspapers, radio or TV as their primary source of news and information. It’s no wonder newspapers are closing and TV stations are going bankrupt. It’s a whole new frontier in the online information age.

This is a big deal for a variety of reasons. As I wrote in my book, Barack Obama’s campaign seized on this trend as no other candidate did. Obama “owned” the internet from start to finish in this campaign, all the while connecting with those young “new media” viewers and readers. It is one of the main reasons why he won the election.

Fast forward to Mr. Obama’s recent news conference, when people took note that he called on news outlets such as Politico.com, but did not call on the “New York Times” and many other traditional, mainstream media outlets. When Obama said he stood for “change” this was probably part of the mix. The people at Stony Brook University’s School of Journalism are among those who are ahead of the curve on this phenomenon.

I will be discussing “new media,” as well as the entire 2008 Presidential campaign and the first one-hundred days of the Obama Administration tonight on the "Joey Reynolds Show," WOR Radio 710-AM, in New York City. My segment airs from 3 to 5 a.m. on the East Coast, midnight to 2 a.m. on the West Coast. Never fear, if you are too sleepy. The station archives the show on its website, so you can listen in when it is convenient for you.

Outside of the New York area, the “Joey Reynolds Show” is syndicated on more than one-hundred radio stations nationwide. Check your local listings, or listen “live” on the internet by clicking on this link: http://radiotime.com/WebTuner.aspx?StationId=21780&

If you don’t have my book yet, you can click on the blue book button at the right of this screen and buy it directly from Amazon.com. The title is “Age of Obama: A Reporter’s Journey with Clinton, McCain and Obama in the Making of the President 2008.”

Media is playing very vital role in making different countries Great and Powerful. Recently I have read an article on profеssіonal collеgе еssay wrіtіng service which is clearly saying that what are the main reason of this thing.

We shall miss the crackle of newsprint and the smudgy, inky fingerprints, but--most of all--walking outside very early in the morning, breathing the fresh morning air, picking up the newspaper, and hoping that--maybe this time--the reporting will be accurate and unbiased. Maybe the editors will even include a spot of good news, along with the murder and mayhem. They DO say that "Hope springs eternal."

What WILL we wrap the trash in when we no longer have the printed trash? (I know that I'm painting with a broad brush and that there are very good, reliable, conscientious journalists and editors, but they have been endangered species for a while, haven't they?)

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