The most dangerous gift

There’s been a very interesting conversation unfolding on Twitter over the last couple of days under the #AdviceForYoungJournalists hashtag. Recommendations for budding hacks has come fast and furious, and has ranged from the depressing (from @joemfbrown, “learn to weld”) to the practical (“always carry toilet paper with you,” @melissakchan advises those working overseas) and the sublime (“go into the world humbly,” @JulieMcCarthyJM). As with all worthy insights, a lot of these would fall into the #AdviceForYoungAnyone category (if it existed). Full disclosure: we chimed in as well, with a recommendation to study and absorb William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White’s The Elements of Style (really. It’s that good.).

And then, an actual young journalist came along with some input that pretty much blew everything else away. For anyone contemplating (or still in) the industry, this fine piece by Will Butler in Medium should be required reading: http://bit.ly/1zYRDpW. Besides, what kind of self-respecting journalist listens to their elders anyway?

 

The news agencies of tomorrow

It’ll require some fancy mouse-work, but do check out the lead story in the latest edition of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Hong Kong’s magazine, in which a member of the n/n team (among others) weighs in on how the digital environment is changing the news business. The entire publication can be viewed via the following link, with the cover story starting on page 12:

http://www.fcchk.org/article/correspondent-january-february-2015

For those who find it a click too far, the key takeaways: The Internet and mobile platforms represent both an opportunity and a threat to the traditional titans of the industry — news agencies like Reuters, AP and Bloomberg. Helped by their considerable resources and talent, most are already adjusting their strategies to match. And they may find themselves going head-to-head with some of their own customers in the process.