Indianapolis' Black Expo
News media needs to shift focus from being quick to being correct
July 16, 2015
News is no longer about waiting to read the news of the day in the morning paper.
Modern media has become rapid and amorphous, ABC Correspondent Linsey Davis said at a Indiana Black Expo’s media reception, where the winner isn't always the person who gets it right - but the person who gets it first.
“We’ve become this sort of ‘microwave generation’ where we need everything now, we need the news fast… we’re just in this nonstop race and accuracy is often lost,” Davis said. “[Journalists] have to continue to keep up with the style changes, just as much as clothes and hairstyles.”
Awarded reporter and member of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), Davis addressed Indiana reporters at the Black Expo’s Media Reception with her keynote address July 14 at Indiana Convention Center.
Beginning in Indianapolis at WTHR 13 Davis has made her mission reporting on stories that have yet to be told. From spending time working beside news icon Diane Sawyer to covering the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, she shared stories and personal reflections of experience in the rapidly changing media field highlighted Davis’ message on the importance of staying progressive in a fast-paced field.
The recent controversy in South Carolina surrounding the confederate battle flag perfectly highlighted Davis’ point, she said.
A rapid frenzy of dialogues and debates were highlighted in the news and, she said, the pressure to produce a headline first trumped precision reporting on sensitive events. Experience at ABC has taught Davis the importance of finding different strategies to release information especially as social media has become a critical game-changer for journalists.
“We need to be thoughtful in coming up with ways to use the Internet and Twitter and all of these media platforms to our benefit and not just as a way to disseminate information more quickly,” Davis said. “Digital conversations are happening more and more often in the newsroom, and we need to pay close attention to this new process of sorts.”
IABJ awarded two students with scholarships in the names of two deceased Indianapolis journalists.
Leah Johnson, a senior at Indiana University-Bloomington received the Lynn Dean Ford Scholarship, and Raven Moody, a senior at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis received the Lis Daily Crawford Scholarship.
Johnson is a three-time winner of the award from IABJ who is working in New York completing a fellowship at The Wall Street Journal. An advocate for growing digital media, she is the Digital Editor at the IU Daily Student.
Johnson credits an IABJ workshop as the segway between her college education and her career in the professional media.
“The program encourages diversity and educates [attendees] to be strong, intensely trained journalists,” Johnson said. “My time really inspired me to immerse myself with other people of color, especially in the media — IABJ instilled in me a desire to keep reaching.”
In New York Johnson is working on a brand new podcast project, getting a perspective on what it's like to work in the new digital media environment.
“It’s great knowing that I’m representing every black woman that walks into a newsroom, and that I have been blessed to change the narrative around people of color in the news,” Johnson said .
Despite some speculation suggesting that news outlets are diminishing, both Davis and Johnson are continuing to expand on new, commendable techniques for the digital media field.
“We may see [journalism] as this sickly patient with a ‘do not resuscitate’ order, but I think it’s very much alive and well,” Davis said. “It’s just evolving, and we have to learn how to evolve along with it.”