Last night I had the privilege of listening to Ann Curry speak on the topic of ethics in journalism at the University of Oregon's 2013 Ruhl Lecture.
Every year someone notable is selected to talk about their efforts in maintaining the ethics of journalism. As one who has covered many wars overseas and heartbreaks in our country, Ann Curry was no doubt a perfect selection.
As an alumnus of the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Oregon, it's an honor to hear from such a well respected fellow Duck and female journalist.
Fun fact: Ann Curry went to high school in little ole Ashland, OR.
During the lecture, the "J School" had a twitter feed going, which kept folks engaged and sharing key points that resonated with the crowd.
I wrote down a few of my favorites to share with you guys.
"What people don't know, doesn't exist... It's a journalist's job to realize what's important and tell those stories."
"How can we not be obligated to give voice to the voiceless? People rarely heard are the ones who often have the most to say. Look for the dark corners and shine a light on them."
Whether or not you're a fan of Ann, she is truly passionate about telling a story in its entirety. After all, she said, "compromise does allow for excellence. If something is valuable, you just have to do it."
She mentioned talking to execs who were worried that this or that story wouldn't fly with an audience (ratings wise), but in the end, those stories would be the ones to exceed everyone's expectations. Her point was not to think of it from the business side when you're the journalist because the audience is human and wants to hear the story.
After her 30 min lecture, the dean of the "J School" lead the next 30 minutes where Curry was able to answer questions that people had tweeted in related to ethics in journalism. Afterward, she stayed in the building chatting with attendees and taking photos. I just lurked.
On a somewhat Friday Fashion related note, Ann was looking adorable in her red dress, gold topped heels and black rimmed glasses.
If you're wondering, this student she's chatting with is trying to get an internship at NBC.
As she made her way out of the building after a photo session with attendees, she gave one final inspiration speech to the students. She basically said "Don't take no for an answer. If you really want to do journalism, go out and do good work and be honest."
Thank you, Ann. You are truly inspiring.
To think what you could do if you just took that simple "Don't take no for an answer" advice to heart. Personally, I'm always finding ways to put up walls so I don't hear the word no!
While I'm not a hardcore journalist, I do write both in this space and at work and she inspired me to think a little differently.
One thing that resonated in regards to the blogging world was her reminder that journalism is a service job. I think it's easy to forget in this day of social media and branding to remember that the real stories and helping others is what all of this stems from.
"Please don't forget journalism is a service job. It's a 'I want to help you' job. It's not an 'all about me, I'm going to tell you what to do' job."
Anyway, I hope this left you with a little food for thought and a view into Ann Curry's beliefs on journalism.
Have any plans for your evening? The manfriend and I are doing date night (it's a rarity) because I've had post work events almost every night this week and it's been a while since we've gone out to dinner.
What's up, Running? A friend is hosting his annual "Boston Simulator" run tomorrow with all kinds of good eats afterward. While my few runs this week have been slow and easy, I'm hoping to be able to do 8-10 hilly, slow miles with the gang. After all, if I don't go running, it's hard to see my friends... That's what happens when 90% of them are hardcore runners!