Dean Baquet, Pulitzer Prize winner and managing editor of The New York Times, spoke at the HUB-Robeson Center last night about the changing world of journalism as part of the Foster-Foreman Conference of Distinguished Writers.
Baquet spoke about how journalism is transforming and what effect the changes will have on young journalists.
“The web has been a transformation for journalism and I think multimedia is creating a new way to experience journalism,” he said. “The speed of the web has confronted new organizations with big decisions that we’ve never had to confront before and it’s exciting.”
The development of the Internet has presented a new range of important decisions that need to be made, but the tools that young journalists will learn from making these decisions will be worth it, he added.
While the Internet has proven to be beneficial in many ways for journalism, there are also some consequences, Baquet said.
“It is not my fear that newspapers will die,” he said. “My only fear is that the craft of witnessing and reporting on the truth will die.”
Reporters learn lessons working with people they write about face-to-face, Baquet said, adding that writers won’t have the same experiences working from home.
“You learn a lesson when you’re face-to-face with the people you write about that cannot be learned when a reporter is writing a story from home,” he said.
Baquet went on to talk about his position at The New York Times and said that printing accurately is one of the most difficult aspects in journalism right now.
“You have to make fast decisions because the competition is all around you,” he said.
Baquet also offered some advice for the young journalists in the room last night.
“If you suck up all of the knowledge and if you revel in entry level positions in journalism and if you embrace the public service aspect of it, you will have the time of your life,” he said.
Some students who do not even major in journalism, such as Dominick Tricoche, attended the conference out of an interest in media.
“There are a lot of international stories in The New York Times and to hear from someone who oversees that was interesting for me,” Tricoche (senior-international politics) said. “I thought Baquet was great and very informative, especially when he talked about the ethics of journalism.”
Bridget Markham said her original purpose was to attend the conference for a class, but she ended up really liking it.
“I thought it was interesting because he was short and to the point, which I wasn’t really expecting,” Markham (sophomore- Photojournalism) said.
Alyssa Reddington can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 865-1828. Follow her on Twitter at @alyssaredd.