C2E2 Journalism Panel

I was thrilled to take part in the C2E2 panel on comic journalism, called “Old Media, New Media, Comics Media”. I was having such a good time that the only note I took was that the audience was about 42 people. Surprising, since we started at 7:45 on Friday night when the show closed at 7, and we were against the Doctor Who premiere, and the shuttles stopped running at 8, so anyone staying to see us was causing themselves an expensive cab ride or long walk back.

Panelists were Lucas Siegel (editor of Newsarama.com), Brigid Alverson (Robot6, MangaBlog, Paperless Comics), me, Noah Berlatsky (The Hooded Utilitarian, now part of the Comics Journal online), Ron Richards (iFanboy, just acquired by Graphic.ly), Caleb Goellner (contributor to AOL’s Comics Alliance), Rick Marshall (MTV’s Splash Page), and moderator Heidi MacDonald (The Beat). Wow, typing that all out has reminded me just how much movement there still is in that space, with Heidi recently going independent and others forming alliances.

Michael May at Robot6 has an excellent factual writeup of the panel, while Jamie Coville has posted a recording of the entire thing. Noah has also posted his followup opinions. (To clarify: my comment about his lack of eloquence was due to the way he would start thoughts but wouldn’t finish before moving on to something else — and I wanted to hear all of his thoughts. It was intended to be a kind of compliment, although backwards, I admit.) He has a unique perspective that I don’t agree with, because I think holding anyone writing online to high expectations is good for them and the field overall. That’s a different thing for wanting higher barriers to entry, which I don’t support; I’m glad anyone can do this, even if people now have a harder go of it than people then. But it’s a fascinating discussion already taking place in his comments.

Matthew Brady has a similar short take before he starts talking about other panels he attended.

Some additional thoughts: There were too many people on the panel, but I don’t know who you would remove, since we each represented a different kind of journalism: doing it as a business (Newsarama), linkblogging in new areas (Brigid), Noah’s more feature-based high-falutin’ approach, coverage as part of a bigger media company (Rick), etc.

The problem was the hour time slot — by the time those who had perspective weighed in on a question, a lot of minutes were taken up. But I’m not sure anyone would give us two or three hours of their time or panel room space. I do second Noah’s comment that I would have liked to talked more about business aspects, how others are compensated, and similar questions, but I’m not sure that anyone would be willing to discuss that publicly or that the audience would be interested. Then again, if I’d remembered to ask them how many of them were bloggers or aspiring journalists themselves, I might have a better guess. I suspect many of them were.

I was very happy to see Heidi leave time for audience questions, since that’s one of my favorite parts of any panel, since you get to see what the audience is wondering about.

One of the big points I was left with was the lack of teaching options. Newer/younger journalists often do want to learn from others, but how do they so, unless it’s asking questions at these kinds of panels? When we reach a day when there are college courses on online journalism, 1) I hope I’m asked to teach one, because I love to share lessons learned from hard experience, 2) the blog world will be a very different place. Right now, it’s all based on experience, and that differs from person to person. I hate seeing people have to make the same mistakes just because there’s no way for them to hear about them easily. Maybe I should write a book. Ha!

If you’ve seen other good mentions of this panel, or pictures, please let me know in the comments, because I’d love to see more on how we came across.

5 Responses to “C2E2 Journalism Panel”

  1. Russell Lissau Says:

    Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, my alma mater (BSJ ’93) now has a pretty extensive web and interactive media program. Other J-schools do, too. But even in the pre-Web days when I went to college, that training thoroughly prepared me for the print and Web journalism I do today (in addition to my comics work, of course).

  2. Ed Catto Says:

    What an engaging panel this was – I really enjoyed it!

  3. Johanna Says:

    I would love to find out more about how interactive media journalism is taught, Russell. I’ve gotten the (likely inaccurate) impression that journalism teachers tend to like the retro tech better.

  4. Russell Lissau Says:

    There was a big kerfuffle a few years ago when the Medill dean announced the school would be shifting focus and really hitting online journalism and tech. (It was, of course, a REALLY good call.) Many alums of a certain age hit the roof, talking about the traditions of print, yatta yatta. For more, see: http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/ , or specifically: http://www.medill.northwestern.edu/journalism/default.aspx . I’m sure a google search would turn up articles about the controversy.

  5. Damian Says:

    Blast! Somehow I didn’t this in the program. Sorry to have missed the panel.




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