Online Journalism

Guest Speaker: Brad Kalbfeld

April 13th, 2011 · Comments Off on Guest Speaker: Brad Kalbfeld

Brad Kalbfeld, author of the Associated Press Broadcast News Handbook and managing editor for the Associated Press, came and spoke to our Comm. 361 class on April 5, 2011. Kalbfeld spoke about much of the history of journalism and how it’s evolved us into today’s journalism.


He started off his presentation by showing us what he used in the past. He first showed us his large typewriter, then his first laptop that basically looked like a big Game Boy console which could only show four lines of text and then his cassette recorder. He used to have to carry ALL of these heavy things around with him. Boy how things have changed!

It used to be: heavier equipment, limited amount of people had access to it and it was expensive.

There has been an incredible leap in technology to what we have today. For example, the iPhone gives everyone the capability to have access to information.

He then gave us a before and now look into how journalism occurred and now occurs.

BEFORE: Event –> (Filter 1) Reporter –> (Filter 2) Copy Editor –> (Filter 3) Section Editor/Show Produced –> (Filter 4) Managing Director –> (Filter 5) Reader/viewer

NOW: Joe Six-Pack –> Reader/viewer. Skips all other filters. The reader/viewer now has the power to determine what gets out there.

” There is a new level of coverage due to how the power shift has changed. It’s not just reporters and journalists who are relaying information, everyone had the opportunity to do it.” – Kalbfeld

The conversation then got on the topic of citizen journalists versus traditional journalists. Kalbfeld explained that some traditional journalists are scared of citizen journalists because of their direct appeal to the public. Citizen journalists are able to provide a different level of coverage that professional journalists can’t. Kalbfeld explained that it’s all about finding a balance and making sure you’re reporting on truthful information.

When asked what’s the tool he can’t live without he stated the Internet. Pretty solid answer for an ONLINE journalism class.

Lastly, Kalbfeld spoke about all the different news outlets out there and how people chose what to tune into. He explained that there’s many factors as to what people chose as their news. It can be because the reporter shares their beliefs, they like the advertising, they agree with the political standpoint of the reports and many many other reasons. Basically, consumers need to be educated consumers and find what’s reputable. He explained though that people don’t’ always do that and can be lazy. That’s where journalists come in and need to make sure they’re providing solid information.

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