Schuneman Symposium 2012: Laura Flanders inspires young journalists with new media possibilities

Laura Flanders speaks at the Ohio University Schuneman Symposium on Wednesday. Flanders discussed the changes in media. (Photo Credit – Nicole H. Germano)

As part of the Schuneman Symposium, journalist, author and gritTV founder Laura Flanders spoke about the evolving media landscape on Wednesday afternoon.

Ironically, Flanders introduced her discussion of traditional and new media by reading a Mary Oliver poem from her smart phone – an epitome of the juxtaposition between old and the new.

In her discussion, “Seeing is Sharing: Breaking News vs. New Media,” Flanders spoke about her reasons for becoming a journalist, the changes occurring within the media and the possibilities for the future of the field.

Journalism appealed to Flanders because she said it allowed her to “cram as much life into a few decade period I could.” Inspired by the idea that at least two sides to every story exist, she has spent her career sharing such stories and traveling the world.

Ohio University junior studying broadcast journalism, Tanya Parker tweeted from the symposium that Flanders “sounds just like me! Reaffirms my desire to follow journalism!”

Parker attended the symposium not for class, but for the opportunity to meet the journalists presenting and to learn from them. Flanders work is similar to what Parker hopes to do.

“She was basically calling all the shots in her own career, travelling all over the world and living the new media dream. I loved everything she talked about and how excited she was about her own life, and it just made me want to jump into my journalistic career right away,” said Parker.

Throughout her career, Flanders has watched the consolidation and conglomeration of media. She said that the focus of journalism has changed from serving democracy to serving the bottom line.

Despite changes in journalism, the field today shares one important characteristic with journalism of the past: it delivers the public to each other. Although the ways people share new is evolving, sharing stories still lies at the heart of journalism.

The E.W. Scripps School of Journalism, with the support of alumni Smith and Pat Schuneman, hosted the annual Schuneman Sympoisum Tuesday and Wednesday. The event, “Impact: Words and Pictures that Matter,” brought photographer Paul Frusco (BFA ’57); two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Clarence Page (BSJ ’69); Civil Rights leader and Rainbow PUSH Coalition founder Rev. Jesse Jackson; and Flanders to the Ohio University Campus discuss how journalism has shaped social movements. All presentations were free and open to the public.

Laura Flanders introduced the audience at the Schuneman Symposium to gritTV. Flanders founded gritTV in 2008. (Photo Credit – Nicole H. Germano)

Author: nhgermano

Day Dream Believer.

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