Robert Krulwich on the Future of Journalism

It is, I know, hard to find a job.

I’m guessing you look at the world of newspapers and magazines and broadcasters and webcasters and Huffposts and Daily Beasts and sometimes the whole bunch of ‘em feel like the City of Troy – you know, this high walled, Fortress of Journalism, occupied by people who somehow got in before you did and now they’re looking down at you … little you, a newbie standing alone on the beach and you’re looking up, thinking: “Hey! How’d you get in there?… and they’re not telling …

If you want to make a life in this business, if you want to begin, and survive and flourish, how do you do it? How do you start? Well I think there’s a way….

What I’ve noticed is that people who fall in love with journalism, who stay at it, who stay stubborn, very often win. I don’t know why, but I’ve seen it happen over and over.

So, here, for what it’s worth, ladies and gentlemen of the Class of 2011, is my graduation advice. Some of you will say, “This is a fantasy. Pay this man no attention,” but hey, you invited me, so here’s what I’ve got:

If you can … fall in love, with the work, with people you work with, with your dreams and their dreams. Whatever it was that got you to this school, don’t let it go. Whatever kept you here, don’t let that go. Believe in your friends. Believe that what you and your friends have to say… that the way you’re saying it – is something new in the world.

And don’t stop. Just hold on… and keep loving what you love… and you’ll see. In the end, they’ll let you stay.

The Koh Panyee Football Club: A True Story

In 1986, in a floating village in the middle of the sea that has not an inch of soil, the kids loved to watch football but had nowhere to play or practice. But they didn’t let that stop them.

This film is based on a true story about a little island in the south of Thailand called “Koh Panyee.”

This video launched a campaign for Thailand’s TMB Bank, hoping to inspire people to start small, think differently, and create positive change. The video is based on a true story. Full credits are here.

Thank you for sharing this, Charlotte Agell!

Sustaining democracy in the digital age

From the Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities:

America needs “informed communities,” places where the information ecology meets people’s personal and civic information needs.

This means people have the news and information they need to take advantage of life’s opportunities for themselves and their families. They need information to participate fully in our system of self-government, to stand up and be heard.

Continue reading “Sustaining democracy in the digital age”

TED: How Eric Whitacre conducted his virtual choir of 2,000 voices

With an emergent technology, something happens that you’d never imagined. Here, YouTube and Hulu, via WordPress, Facebook, and Twitter — and built upon the Internet — bring something new and wonderful to life.

With all of the horrible things we’ve learned through the Internet about suffering in our world lately, this is a video about the simple, powerful joy of people around the world singing together. Continue reading “TED: How Eric Whitacre conducted his virtual choir of 2,000 voices”

Real value creation happens at the edge

From Harold Jarche:

I think the edge will be where almost all high value work gets done in organizations. Core activities will be increasingly automated or outsourced. Most of the people in an organization will be on the edge. The core will be managed by very few internal staff.

This is a sea change, in my opinion. It means that change and complexity will be the norm in our work. We already see this with increasing numbers of freelancers and contractors. Any work where complexity is not the norm will be of diminishing value.

We need to embrace complexity and chaos, it’s where the future of work lies.

School reform: the issue isn’t the test

If we want to see true school reform, we have to recognize that it will look different in various contexts.  It might be unschooling for some, home schooling for others, community schools for others and progressive public schools for others.  It might mean building a new structure or it might mean transforming the factory into something beautiful.

When we move from “this is what works, you need to try this” to “this worked for me,” what emerges is a true sense of unity in ideas like authenticity and humanity.

The film ‘Schooling the World’ is profound, disturbing

From Kima via Cooperative Catalyst:

“Today, I watched a profoundly disturbing film. It completely shattered my view of education as a progressive force in the world. Even if the system in place is seriously outdated, I never really questioned the intrinsic value of education as a way out of poverty, as a way to move humanity into their future….

“I believe Schooling the World is a film that is just as, if not more, important as Waiting for Superman — at least Sir Ken Robinson seemed to agree with me when replying back on Twitter, after I brought it to his attention, that it is ‘An important and fascinating movie.’

“The current education system was devised during the start of the industrialization, more than 200 years ago. Its purpose was to create skilled workers that could take specialized jobs and work in the factories. …

“In the developed countries, most of the factories are gone, more people than ever work in services, and a great level of innovation and creativity is required by most modern companies. However, the education system still produces people that can do specialized jobs — or worse, tries to generalize their knowledge to such a level that it is useless at that point.”

Fan video from Korean drama Coffee Prince

It seems that I am very late to this party. I’ve been watching the 2007 South Korean drama, Coffee Prince, on Hulu. It’s the story of about a dozen people — from three generations — in a Seoul neighborhood who come together to renew a failing cafe and who actually renew each other.

As with the several other Korean dramas I’ve watched, the pilot is somewhat silly by sophisticated Hollywood standards, but the series grows with depth and insight over the first few hours. (Incidentally, the MBS-sponsored subtitles can be pretty interesting, too, like “tomboy,” for a female who isn’t obsessed with marriage, and “shaken,” meaning the moment of being attracted to someone new.)

Over a quarter million people have watched this fan-produced video, which combines the song “Across the Ocean” by American duo Azure Ray — used twice in the series — with scenes of cafe owner Han Kyul and “tomboy” Eun Chan from the middle episodes.

I am, again, fascinated by the way this series integrates universal emotions — captured with quite a bit of subtlety — with the resistance to South Korean cultural expectations about men and women, parental respect, and class distinctions.

A real human interface (Multitouch Barcelona)

“Did you ever think that your computer was alive? That there was someone inside working for you? ‘Hi, a real human interface’ is a metaphor for how interaction with technology should be. It was our attempt to create the perfect interface; one that really understands our deepest needs, a human interface indeed.”

“Multitouch Barcelona is “an interaction design group exploring natural communication between people and technology. We design experiences that merge real and digital into a creative environment where people are invited to touch, play, move, feel as they do in the real world”

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