January 1, 2015

2015, as the new year, in a keyboard

Less time spent wading through your email? More time spent away from tech? Less selfies? More selfies? It’s almost a new year and, like with the resolutions you may be making about more exercise and less Uber riding, you may also have some work-related resolutions. I asked a handful of journalists about their tech and social media resolutions for 2015. What are yours? Email or tweet them to me and I’ll gather them into this story.

Tech resolutions

S. Mitra Kalita, executive editor (at large), Quartz: My tech resolution for 2015 is to embrace the chaos. In 2014, I read every story on getting more organized, commissioned a few myself, experimented with a few productivity apps, even went to see an email doctor to help me winnow down my inbox of 145,000 messages. It is 10,492 as I type. So that’s progress. Except that he encouraged me to categorize messages and now I find myself missing the eavesdropping on listserv culture (and life) that is so crucial to my job as a digital journalist. I’ve decided to go back to who I was — inbox bursting, Luddite to some, digital maven to others — but at least it’s me and my overlapping worlds of gossipy neighbors, media gurus, shitty press releases, videos of human rights abuse, videos of cat rights abuse, last-call sales at Zulily. If I miss an email and someone needs me, they can ping back. Or call. Everyone tells you as you approach 40 that it gets to be easier to be who you are. I’m applying that to my inbox, too.

Andrew Cohen, commentary editor, The Marshall Project: My tech resolution for 2015 is very simple: I want to make sure the two laptops in my life talk nicely to one another, and with their cousins at the Marshall Project and CBS News, so that we all can be one big happy family.

Josh Stearns, director of journalism and sustainability for The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation: I have a slew of tech resolutions for 2015 that have to do with learning new skills, experimenting with different tools, and getting access to the best technology for even the smallest local newsrooms. But my most important resolution is not about any one kind of technology, but about a new approach to technology in our newsrooms and our communities.

In 2015 I want to help more journalists build with their communities, not just for their communities.

At so many publications, journalists are rebuilding their newsrooms around new technologies from smartphones to social networks. But for the most part, the community is left on the other side of the screen. In 2015 there is a huge opportunity to engage communities in the work of helping build powerful journalism. I want to help newsrooms design reporting projects, engagement strategies, web apps and more through deeper collaboration, listening and empathy with our communities. Building for the community puts people at the end of the process. Building with community puts them at the start. In the new year, let’s start the debate about journalism and technology with our communities.

Social media resolutions

Robert Hernandez, associate professor, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism: 1. Be open and try emerging platforms, including social media and other tools that might seem pointless at first glance. *cough* Yo *cough*. Give them a chance and try to view them through the prism of journalism tools.

2. Get offline more and find a better balance between on- and off- line life. (NOTE: #2 tends to lose.)

Gary Vosot, fake newscaster: To be verified on the very first day of 2015. That badge of honor tells users that I’m a real legitimate source and not a fake account. And no one is more real than I am in the world of local news and that’s a cold hard fact.

— For my book to become one of the most hashtagged titles on Twitter.

— To transfer all of my ¾ inch videotapes to Vine videos.

— To offer more Gary Vosot merchandise to my fan base. T-shirts, iPhone cases, cashmere scarfs and plush throws.

— For my Twitter feed to be used as part of the curriculum at top journalism schools across the country.

— Take more selfies.

taking selfie - hand hold monopod with photo camera

Correction: An earlier version of this story shared a resolution for 2014. It’s 2015. It has been corrected.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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