Technology creates messages for journalists


Isabel Neff

Very rarely do you hear the words, “pull out your phones and check Twitter,” coming from an adult, so when you do, it’s a pleasant surprise.

“I want you to use your phones like journalists,” Aaron Manfull, the advisor at Francis Howell North High School said.

Today at the Iowa High School Press Association, the phrase of the day was social media, getting connected to other people and getting your publication out there. After a few brief words from Jon Rogers, IHSPA president, letting us know that the use of social media was encouraged throughout the day, you were indulging in the story of Manfull and his students. He had five points, each one a different student that taught him something new. They were all game changers in the name of media, with their website, podcasts, and social media. While the stories were really only pertaining to his school, the messages behind them were universal.

The five messages were:

1. Let staffers run with developed ideas they’re excited about.

2. Don’t push off the ideas of staffers who know more than you.

3. Change takes time.

4. “Let Kevin be Kevin.”

5. The difference between good and great is hard work.

Now as these ideas flashed behind him while he talked, everything came full circle. It’s not up to you to tell someone no they can’t do something, it’s to push them to try harder and achieve what they want. You can’t change someone who is driven to do something, even if their name isn’t Kevin. These ideas can be taken and applied to any group over any topic.

At each of the sessions I went to, there was a projector with a power point or a Prezi about their topic. This just shows how much technology runs our society and is changing how we view things. There was a true push to get things online and get things multi-media and in depth  There’s always something to improve on and it’s easier than ever to get a presence online. There were new ways to learn how to do everything to help people understand the technology revolution happening.

“They say that teenagers aren’t reading as much as they used to, but that’s not true,” Travis Feil, former Kansas Scholastic Journalism Press Associate Director,said. “They’re reading more than ever, it’s all in the social media.” In another session, Rogers warned that journalism isn’t social media, and to use it with caution.

In the end all journalists are telling stories. Stories about things that can, have, and will happen someday. We’re in an age where it’s so easy to get out there and make yourself be heard.