A new semester, and new challenges

By · Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

It’s a new semester this week at Syracuse University — new classes and lesson plans, new projects and, of course, more new tools than any of us can grasp while still covering the “basics.”

And, there’s a new second edition of “Think Like an Editor” with new strategies focused on social media and digital production and delivery. (And a new look on the blog.)

As I was telling a class Monday, one of the sayings I really like is this one: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you respond to it.”

This could be said about journalism today. It’s not all that’s new in the business that matters, but how we deal with it. We don’t have to do it all from Day One, much less understand it all. But we do have an obligation to try new things and step outside our comfort zones every semester.

It is surprising to realize sometimes that we (students and teachers alike) have settled for the “known” and comfortable, not because we are lazy but because there is so much that is new and so much “old” to juggle, too. We pick what we know — and what we can do well.

Rather than feel overwhelmed, pick a modest challenge and accept that trying to do “some” is better than ignoring “all.”

(Finally, just as I was to post this morning, was this sobering reminder from Poynter, a reminder that nothing, indeed, matters if we get it wrong.)



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