The oh, Reilly factor

It’s that time of year: conference track meets, gowns, caps, clichés, “Pomp and Circumstance” and all that jazz, er, orchestral.

For journalism majors, May’s end signals the true test of faith in the communications degree. Job or no job? Public corporation or private sector?

Is anybody actually willing to pay me to put words on a page or peck out characters for a website?

Even the librarian at the National Archives is concerned. She asked if the Washingtonian was thriving as she copied the drawings of an 1864 pencil patent.

She expressed concerned for print media. Her daughter had recently completed a master’s at the University of Colorado.

ESPN columnist Rick Reilly presented the commencement address at the school which will no longer offer journalism in the traditional form.

Critics slammed some of Reilly’s advice, but his message is one I agree with summarily.

“Without good journalists delivering solid stories that check out, there’ll be nothing for the world to tweet, Facebook, text, ping, blog, flog, poke, post, roast, friend, unfriend, wiki-leak, sneak peak, share, smoke signal or quilt.”

I’ve said it in different ways on this blog, and I told the librarian what I tell everyone.

Living in this journalism era is an opportunity. It’s exciting, chaotic, unpredictable and scary.

But we, this generation, will change the future of this industry for the better and for the long-term, pencils and quilts optional.

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