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Jessica: It's going to be fine

In a detailed post, Jessica explains how journalism is not dying; it is evolving.

So when I tell people I'm going to school for journalism and they give me that look that says they feel sorry for me, I know they are just falling into that fatal false assumption that journalism is nothing without print. While journalism as we know it may have gotten its start in print, it's more than just newspapers.

As technology expands we will continue to find new ways to report and deliver information to the public, responding to a demand for news that will never die. Maybe it's because I'm a bit of an optimist, but I see a lot of potential for journalism to be the phoenix story in my generation.

From the ashes of print, journalism will rise, stronger, more important, and more beautiful than ever.

Amber: Investigate change

After the first day, Amber wasn't sure this was the right class for her! But she stayed and learned to embrace the new and keep moving forward.

In mass communication, sticking with the status quo just isn't an option. So when people come up with a new idea about communication, I want to check it out to see if I think that they're on to something. And then question what would make it better. If I give it a chance and still hate it, fine.

Snapchat just happens to be my most recent example of something that I looked down on and resisted. Maybe it won't be around much longer, but surely we'll learn communication methods that work and don't work no matter what the outcome.

I'm glad this class forced me to investigate change and find and read a lot about it on my own. I hope finding and reading (and watching!) is a new habit. Good thing I didn't drop it.

Sarah Merrill:

Ever since she didn't trade her email for a candy bar, Sarah Merrill has been paying attention to her digital profile.

Social media isn't even about me anymore. Its about how others see me, and not everyone sees my posts the same way I do. I've branded myself on Facebook, whether I like it or not, and what I do with that can either hurt me or help me. All it takes is one post or one picture to go viral, and that can happen in an instant if you aren't careful. With the speed everything is happening and being shared, there isn't really any time you can afford to be lackadaisical.

Pay attention not only for the way you are perceived but also because everything is changing.

Advertisements are becoming scarily personalized because they know what you're doing, where you're going on the web and what you enjoy doing. Verizon knows what I'm doing and Netflix probably knows where I am too. For that, you have to be careful and pay attention because these technologies are rapidly invading our personal lives.

Caroline: No fear

Caroline has nostalgia for the past and excitement for the future.

We shouldn't be afraid of the new platforms which seem to be replacing the old ones. The Internet and social media are both incredible gifts and should be treated as such. Journalists have been changing the world for centuries with mere paper and ink. Just imagine what we can do with the technology we possess now.

Our generation is going to change the world. As a wise professor once said, be creative. Be innovative. We shouldn't be afraid to embrace the tools we have and dare to create new ones. That's what will carry us into the coming decades. That's what will make us better journalists.

Editor's note: Thank you for not saying "As a wise old professor...."

Jasmine: the decline of print

Jasmine says the most significant thing is the decline of print, but that's really the starting point for an almost stream of consciousness walk through mass media repercussions.

I believe print media will still be around in my lifetime, but it will continue to decline. With things going viral on video and people being able to collect real-time news with apps such as Periscope and Meerkat I learned that video is becoming the next big thing and is something to watch out for in the future. Ever scroll down your Facebook feed and all you see are videos? Yep, it's coming. When I think about, I normally see a video of something before there is a news story about. First there is a video then reporters are quick to report about it. Video sparks news stories and I believe it would do fine without print media.

Emma V.: Change is a constant

Emma learned that with inevitable change comes improvement.

And a new norm isn't going to be reached until someone finds something that sticks, which is (unfortunately unpredictable). The future can be intimidating because you don't know what will happen, it is just trial and error until something (for whatever reason) finally sticks.

When we'd have group discussions about what we think the future of an industry should be, I would get a little overwhelmed because I'm just a college student, not an expert in the field. But then I would realize that not even the experts have been able to figure it out, so it is anyone's guess. And the chances are pretty good that it is not going to be an industry expert who figures it out, it will be someone young who is capable at looking at things from a different perspective.

Nicole: Change is not overwhelming

Nicole S. has learned to embrace change and all of the excitement it brings with it.

So that, how exciting change can be, is the most significant thing I've learned this semester, with the help of these blogs and my final paper. Change is happening, but rather than being overwhelmed by it, I should embrace it. Especially since my generation has experienced so much change in our lifetimes. And even though I've blogged about the impracticalities of things like Periscope (i.e. if you're not on the app at the right time, you miss stuff) and the Internet of Things (i.e. what if it breaks?), I do also find these concepts exciting too.

So I'm curious to see what change happens next and just how much more of it there will be. Some people might want to pull the plug, but I'm betting I'll stay connected (and not just because I have to).

Clayton: Enjoy the moment

Clayton is always surprised when someone says "put down your phone and enjoy the moment."

Despite this, i don't think technology is impairing our ability to be in the moment to a significant level. Like i mentioned earlier, I think that most of not being in the moment comes from being focused on the future. Whenever somebody says someone should stop filming something and just enjoy it, I'm always amazed. Since when does taking a few pictures or a short video clip remove someone's ability to enjoy the rest of what is going on. Also, I think I can enjoy part of a song while recording it for thirty seconds almost as much as I would without doing so. Who is to say that the current moment is more important that then one that will be shared with friends later when the pictures or video are shown?

In the end, I think being in the moment, and the value of doing so, are such subjective topics that we shouldn't question if someone is in the moment or not. Maybe they are, maybe they aren't, but it is not a problem that affects anyone but that person.

Lindsey: We've got the whole world in our hands

Lindsey says old media is in hospice care. What comes next is up to you.

My generation, on the other hand, is the generation of expansion and adaptation. We are now put up to the task to take what we have and make changes to improve it's quality and efficiency.

For example:

Print will die (Sorry, JR). It might be in 5 years, it might be in 50 – BUT, trying to figure out exactly when it will happen is not the key here. The key is to understand what the world will be like once it's gone and create a plan to make it a place that's still as fast paced and adaptive as it is today.

Our expansion of digital and social media will take over this print and, as sad as it is that there won't be anymore paperboys, making personalized new apps, holograms to project them or ~tech~ glasses so we don't have to even move will become my generation's job. So, instead of using our resources to find out what percent of 30-year-olds in the US still buy newspapers, we should be using them to find out what parts of the newspaper they enjoy and make them even more accessible.

Eric: Carpe diem

Eric believes that the changes facing media provide opportunities.

There will always be a market for news, even if that market exists only on laptops. Viewers will always want to "Keep Up With the Kardashians." Listeners will always want to download their favorite songs. And tragedies, like the Chapel Hill Shooting, will highlight the importance of honest, fair reporting, even when the story doesn't quite fit the expected narrative.

Although the medium will change, news will never die.

It will be our role as millennial journalists to guide news from the printed page to computer screens. It may not always be profitable. It may not always be fun, but I believe it is our responsibility to make news relevant and accessible to the digital generation, if only for the benefit of democracy.

Now is the time for journalists to seize the day. The phrase "carpe diem" comes from a poem by the Roman poet Horace. The line in the poem is translated: "Seize the day, put very little trust in tomorrow (the future)."

Jade: Discovering a career

Jade is impressed with all the smarts in class, giving Maddie, Clay and Dylan a shout out.

But above all is what I learnt about myself. I started the semester focusing on the political science part of my double major. I liked journalism, sure, but I was never really sure where I wanted to go with it.

But now I've realised that perhaps journalism is where my heart (and career) belong. I've learnt that I enjoy discussing what is next for social media apps. I've enjoyed talking about how people consume news, as well as what social media and traditional media could do to change these behaviours.

I've learnt that I am terrible at writing blogs. I forget to do them, and sometimes I rambled way too much. But I've also learnt that I still enjoyed doing it because it allowed me to keep up with all the latest news in mass media. I hope that I will have the motivation to continue writing them in the future.

I've learnt that media has become a circus, a place where it seems like journalists can say whatever they want, without repercussions (I'm looking at you again, Bill O'Reilly). I believe news media is about presenting facts and figures, not your own opinions. And if given the chance, I want to be someone who can try and stand by this.

Dylan: It's about hope

Dylan thinks that I took too long to get to the point that there must be a pony in here somewhere.

But the most important thing, the thing with which you took your sweet damn time all semester, dancing 'round the bonfire out of which you slowly dragged the carcass of journalism and proved to us the industry isn't a victim of irreparable third-degree burns?


Journalism will live, and it will prosper. Maybe not in the Cronkite or Times or traditional sense. But it will endure. There are too many consumers, and there's too much content, and there's too much interconnectedness for the function of media to spontaneously go kaput.

Maddie: 10 truths about media

Maddie writes about optimism and learning to think about the future of media.

On my first day in this class I was terrified. No, I was not worried about blogging three times a week or even class discussions. While the media presentation was a bit frightening, not even that compared to how scared I was of a future in mass media.

Some professors take the, "Yeah, it's changing, good luck" approach to preparing us for post-graduation life. Others, the "Future is scary, kid. How are you going to prepare," attitude.

JOMC 240 was all about, "You are the people changing the industry, you have the power, go make a difference."

Lauren: Nothing is forever

When I didn't provide a week-by-week schedule of discussion topics in the syllabus, Lauren was concerned. Then she realized that when it concerns media and technology, everything is always changing.

Why attempt to follow an outline of mass communication topics when they can simply present themselves along the way? The majority of our discussions were relevant news that tied into the objectives of the course and in no way could have been printed in a syllabus back in January. Looking back, I can relate the unstructured syllabus metaphorically to the disruption of mass communication. This industry is constantly changing and we have to take it as it comes.

Laura: Thinking & writing

Laura liked the process and, for want of a better word, routine of maintaining a blog.

While scrolling through my old blog posts, I decided that the most significant thing I've learned in this class is not some mass media concept, but a way of thinking. Looking at everything through the lens of a potential blog post taught me to read a story, do some research, give it an extra five minutes of critical thought and finally, form an opinion and argument.

Obviously this is something I've learned throughout my college career writing papers, but doing it on a regular basis allowed me to form a habit and look at everything around me with a more critical eye. As you can tell from the rest of my blog posts, this may have made me a bit more cynical about the world we live in, but I think that's alright. The ability to analyze information and form an opinion, cynical or hopeful, is crucial in the real world where I imagine ignorance is not bliss.

Kerris: It's your voice

Kerris see the importance of citizen journalism.

Citizen journalism is an outcome of this amazing evolution of technology and society, and it completely shifts how information is gathered and presented to the public. Citizen journalism is the process that is what makes Twitter so important and so successful. Now that we have tools to spread our words, our first-hand experiences, over the Internet to the millions of other users worldwide, we are less reliant and, honestly, a bit more skeptical of traditional news sources. It encompasses the essence of living life in the 21st century. Social media and the technologies we use on a day-to-day basis to keep in touch with the rest of the world have powers that even the biggest companies in journalism have yet to truly harness and utilize to their advantage.

The future of journalism is now being held less in the hands of those not educated in the field, and much more in those of the average citizen, hence the term's name. I think this has an exciting potential to bridge cultural gaps that are aspects of life often left out from traditional sources of information that mainly focus on events and occurrences.

Jenny: Not terrified; empowered

Jenny says -- incorrectly, I think -- that she spent a year as editor-in-chief training for a job she'll never have. She has two lists, both of which are worth reading.

5. And the big one. More than thirty of the journalism school's best minds still couldn't figure out a definitive way to make news profitable.

But this class sure did send me away with a lot of ideas for how to get there.

We unpacked so much and we were given the tools and the knowledge to tackle many other issues facing the journalism industry.

It was really a privilege to get to speak with some of the brightest minds from our field for a few hours each week.

And it's kind of scary to think that I've spent the last year training for a job I'll never have. But this is the first class I've taken that hasn't made me feel terrified about that.

I feel empowered.

Liz: Passionately searching for what's next

Liz knows that digital is the future, and journalism can thrive if we do it right.

We are in a new, challenging and exciting time. Our flexibility and adaptability will probably be our most important characteristics as future communicators. Never shut down a new idea just because you'd never thought about it, or because it feels threatening to "how things should be."

Let's keep our foundations — like shining light in dark places, holding powerful people accountable, giving voice to the voiceless and providing people with information that helps them make informed decisions.

But, even more so, let us reach.

Standing on those foundations, let us stretch our arms and our minds in all that journalism can do for people.

Let's think of new ways that we can fulfill those goals. Create engaging and interactive content that people cannot get anywhere else if they tried. Give people what they want and then some. Step up to the plate and realize our competitors are not each other but those that already digitally track, store and share our information on a larger scale. View ourselves as service-providers rather than just content creators. Prove that we are valuable instead of expecting anyone and everyone to care.

Katherine: it takes a village

Katherine says the next big thing will come from the group, not the individual.

The future of journalism depends on the kind of discussions we had in class. They depend on me nodding when Hallie says something insightful and then I raise my hand and contribute, and one of the Nicoles takes it and adds something I would never think of.

Having the mentality that ideas come from one insider or a group of experts is dangerous. It's a threat to journalism and the critical role journalism plays in society. The individualistic attitude means people try to develop solutions on their own and discourages the "outsourcing" of ideas to others who could contribute.

We're a part of a world that sees constant interaction between people and their opinions. The entire world is a U-shaped think tank and the future depends on us understanding this. We need to tweet our budding ideas, share them on Facebook and bring them up in mass media classes.

Holden: News will be there; will we go get it?

Holden is excited for the future and, in particular, the future of journalism. But it's on us to make it work.

In order for journalism to survive, we must possess an inherent desire to actively seek out the news. I would argue that most people enjoy being informed of what's happening around them, at least to some extent. But that desire must remain intact.

Journalists are going to be doing everything they can to inform the general public. They're going to be personalizing our news for us and shoving it right in our faces. It's going to be more difficult for us to remain uninformed than to be made aware of what's going on around us.

Still, there are going to be people who won't want to be bothered by the news. There will always be those who are apathetic about the happenings of the world and those who opt to take the "ignorance is bliss" approach. But those people won't cause journalism to die out.

Tala: Back to the future

Tala lists all the statements by industry leaders who thought they had a moat around their businesses, only to discover that the disruptors had drained it.

Anyways, I think it will be interesting to see which of our predictions came true. However, judging by this list of failure through history, the most important thing we can take away from this is to never say never. Never completely shut down an idea no matter how crazy it may seem, like the concept of music coming out of a box. Never assume you know so much about the world and the humans that live in it, because Darryl Zanuck, not everyone gets tired of staring at "plywood boxes."

Emma M.: Ignorance is not bliss when your privacy is at risk

Emma says that deep corporate knowledge of your business is a risk to be aware of.

It wasn't until JOMC 240 that I truly comprehended how much privacy we give up by using social media and technology in general. Technology changes so quickly that we don't have time to slow down and think about it before we download our next app. We seem to be stuck on this idea that the government is spying on us. That's probably true, but we should be more concerned about Apple or Verizon spying on us and having access to everything. The government can only do so much without being called out, but Apple can do a whole lot of damage if they start giving people access to our private information. My iPhone knows where I live and will tell me approximately how many minutes it will take for me to get to places I visit regularly. This information conveniently appears on my phone's drop down notification center, but I've never really thought about it as an invasion of privacy because I like knowing that it will take me about four minutes to drive home.

Alexandra: Let your imagination run free

Alexandra says social media isn't limiting communication, it's improving it. And...

From this class I've learned that no idea is too far fetched. In Professor Robinson's words, "predicting the future is an intelligent crapshoot." Much of the technology that we will use in the future might be things we couldn't even imagine. 20 years ago, would you have imagined being able to send pictures to friends that would disappear after a few seconds, Skype with someone halfway across the globe, or stream all of your favorite TV shows and movies to any of your devices? Probably not. So go ahead, let your imagination wander. You might just come up with the next best way to stay connected, share information, and make life easier.

Bradley: It's the ability to collaborate & create

It's clear from Bradley's post that I should have taught you guys a tangible skill such as coding or Chinese fluency. (Not really. It's something much better!)

This is what I am taking most from this class: Change is made by leaders, not followers — by those who overextend themselves and take risks, not those who ask their professor for more structure.

Grabbing life and running with it is something most college professors will tell you; you will hear about how you are in the prime of your life with the world at your feet, and despite all of those pesky, pressing concerns (getting job in an ever-changing market is probably up there as one of the biggest stressors I'm just going to go ahead and say), you are going to achieve whatever and blah blah blah.

But in this class it was different because we could see how we were actually going to grab life and run with it. Coming up with ideas for the future of news and its consumption, one could see the wheels turning in people's heads as ideas from class became more than ideas —they started to become plans.

Brooke: Net neutrality

Brooke is clear that the Internet should be considered and regulated like a public utility.

The Internet grants us our right to information, our right to an education, and our right to have open access to perspectives across the world. A debate, I never sought myself adamantly fighting for.

God willing, the Internet will remain accessible to all and FCC will maintain control. However, as the Internet becomes more powerful – I foresee heavier regulation and restriction surrounding our freedom on the platform, in a manner that will mimic society. It's an issue that I have now pledged to keep my eyes open to, because it affects not only myself but also the way in which my generation innovates. If the Internet becomes limited, then so will our knowledge and more significantly our future.

Chelsea: Still kicking, just not too high

Chelsea channels something her father said as she writes about print and journalism.

The main takeaway from this class for me, from blogging, from being surrounded by the brightest minds in the media world and listening to their ideas and projections for the future, it's that my dad's answer is the mindset we should all take when we look at the present and beyond in mass communication and life in general.

The news will continue to thrive, as long as content is held paramount, stories are being told and truth is being sought and reported.

It'll still be kicking, maybe not as high as it was before, but it's still going. Tomorrow, it'll still be kicking. Years down the road, it'll be there. It may not be in the whirring cogs of the paper press, nor in the hands of the deliveryman, but that is no cause of concern. I've come to understand that I don't need to save newspapers or feel melancholic for what I do.

Instead, i'm excited for what the future will bring. Things change, the night is chased away and replaced by the golden sunlight of tomorrow. My dad repeated this for years, and I've seen it happen in my time on the road.

Taylor: Think big! No, bigger than that!

Taylor says that we shouldn't think outside the box; we should leave the box in the dust and chase the wild dreams. (And she does.)

2075: We will have flying cars. I'm calling it right now. Facebook's project that relies on drones will clear the way for low altitude air travel. It sounds crazy, but so did the internet. By 2050, 70% of the world will be urbanized, saysUnicef. Our environment will not be able to sustain that many roads and wasted space, and commercial flying cars are already in the works. Self-driving and artificial intelligence technology will enable everyone to be a pilot. I would say this would be a reality by 2050, but the FAA is not the fastest moving government agency.

Bailey: Save journalism now

And Bailey has some suggestions.

But despite these obvious errors… journalism is still alive. On the opposite end of the spectrum, some news agencies are embracing the changes and using mass media as a tool. Rather than letting media steer new, their using the media to further journalism. We need more of that.

It's out there. But you may have to dig to find it. That's why my reflection on all I've learned is that we should save journalism - not that the news is dead, but that it's getting caught up in the tidal wave of our changing media instead of using it to float. We have all this technology and advancement… the sky is really the limit for where media and news can go. But individualizing it and following what's popular are weakening what could be a mutually beneficial relationship. After all, one of my favorite journalism quotes says, "news is the first rough draft of history." I'd prefer to have my history colored with multiple angles on issues, based on what's happening in the world and what's truthful, not popular; but maybe that's just me.

Anastasia: Keeping what's private private

If given the chance again, Anastasia may think twice about giving her password away for a Twix bar. Or would she? (It was a small Twix, too.)

I know that AT&T definitely knows where I am at every moment and I'm sure Apple does too. I don't worry about that. I would worry about it if they gave that information to someone else, say a murderer or a stalker (I watch too much Criminal Minds and Law and Order: SVU). In other words, I expect to have privacy and that my personal information won't be shared with the world.

The fact that I have that expectation shows that I do value privacy. I have a passcode on my phone and a lock on my bedroom door so I don't want everything viewable to everyone. I like that some spheres of my life are only accessible by me– well, unless I allow you to access it. I still don't really mind if the government is looking at the stuff that I Google or the websites I go to. Well, other than the places I watch movies… *imagine that there is a smirking emoji here*

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