Some light amid the dark clouds

It was great to get a respite from the gloom of the newspaper industry by helping out with the Center for Innovation in College Media workshop over the weekend in Nashville.
I got to meet some really bright people:

  • Angela Grant, the first multimedia producer for the San Antonio Express, who in her first job out of school wrote her own job description and seems to be having a blast. She does a great blog.
  • Arvinder Singh Kang, who trekked from northern India to Oxford, Miss. and is sort of a bridge between the journalism world the computer science world. He created this group post-workshop Web site while sitting in the breakroom of the First Amendment Center on the Vanderbilt campus.
  • Robert (Rob) Pongsajapan, a Georgetown graduate student and immensely talented web developer. As an undergrad at Indiana, he was interviewed by CNN when the school paper Web site broke the story on the exit of Bobby “Anger Management” Knight.
  • Lee Clontz, an Emory University professor and former CNNer, who helped keep our workshop session on an even keel and floating along (despite me).
  • Jason Levine, Adobe’s worldwide product evangelist for digital video and audio. Levine’s a geek musician with a gift for communication. He’s also a former Nashvillian who lives in Arizona and is getting ready for his annual weeks and weeks in Europe. Hey, somebody’s gotta do it!
  • I heard Jennifer Carroll, Gannett vice president for new media content, talk about how the big newspaper chain is reshaping content and newsrooms. It’s bold, ambitious, radical.
  • And I heard John Seigenthaler, one of those larger than life journalistic figures, put some context to what’s going on today in journalism.

I got to catch some of the infectious enthusiasm of about 90 college students who are hoping to make their careers in mainstream media and can see they need online skills. Some of them will do very well, indeed.
And I got a glimpse of the vision center founders Ralph Braseth, Chris Carroll and Bryan Murley have for effecting change in college media and journalism with their center.
Not all the news is bad. It’s a time of exciting and tumultuous changes.
Not bad for a weekend.
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