Getting the Point at Poynter

The first amendment to the US Constitution is etched in the sidewalk as you enter the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg Florida. My overseas coaching experiences have made me even more passionate and proud of the fact that a free press and freedom of expression are part of the foundation of our country. Thanks to my co-author Tony Silvia, I got the grand tour and met some great people, including Keith Woods. We talked about the DVD for his book,”The Authentic Voice,” on diversity in reporting. Also met Ellyn Angelotti, a rising star in online journalism education who is also pursuing a degree in communication law.
Just spending an hour here is an uplifting experience, and it’s sad to say that fewer media companies are willing to send their journalists here for mid-career education. The technology-rich classrooms are mostly empty and distance learniing via webinars is now the focus. Talking about the importance of on-camera presentation skills is always a tough sell with the capital J journalism crowd, and this place is no exception… until the print guy has to do the DVD for his new book! They have people here who teach power reporting video journalism and somehow skip the part where you have to be on camera. Oh well, in a world where everyone will soon have their own i-phone app, they’ll come around. I just hope they invite me to teach here when they do! Another great quote from the sidewalk is by the legendary CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow: “Just because your voice reaches around the world doesn’t mean you are any wiser than when it only reached to the end of the bar.”