Written by: Emily Fritcke
Edited by: Javaria Tareen
On February 26, 2014, Dr. James Stavridis, Dean of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, retired U.S. Navy Admiral, and former Supreme Allied Commander of the NATO Alliance in global operations from 2009 to 2013, shared his perspective on resolving global issues with an audience at Tempe Center for the Arts. In his lecture entitled, “Learning, Literature, and Leadership,” he stated, “Walls don’t work. We must create bridges.” He went on to profess that he believes that it is through literature, reading, and studying that we create the ultimate bridge. I was inspired and encouraged by Dr. Stavridis’ comments, because I too believe that exposure to great works of fiction, expressive poetry, and thoughtful biographies provides us insight to world issues, international perspectives, and human strengths and challenges.
As a notable advocate for the study of the humanities, Dr. Stavidris, referenced an article, “Don’t Say Goodbye to Intellectual Diversity,” written Lt. Alexander P. Smith to outline why the humanities are critical to the development of a successful military commander:
“Engineering, math, and science tend to draw certain types of people. Humanities draw different types. The first are inward-focused, rule-bound, risk-averse, and bureaucratic. The outward-focused, improvisational risk-takers who hate bureaucracy and embrace Verantwortungsfreudigkeit—joy in making decisions and taking responsibility—are usually drawn to the humanities.”
Dr. Stavridis acknowledges that there are certain qualities that are essential for a dynamic military leader and claims: “An education in the humanities, especially history and literature, is the best preparation for thinking militarily.”
Violence, regional instability, ruthless dictators, and religious radicalism are unfortunately a part of the fabric of the 21st century. These factors are the greatest deterrents to solving the most persistent global issues. We can possess effective solutions for disease prevention, sustainable agricultural development, safe-water treatment, and economic challenges, but, without the ability to connect, the implementation of these resolutions is unachievable. To effectively build bridges to create an atmosphere for successful resolution of critical worldwide issues, it is essential to have an advanced sense of global awareness and understand the foundations of certain beliefs and actions of specific cultures. According to Dr. Stavridis, this is best accomplished through reading great literature, fluency in languages, genuine interaction with the people of foreign nations, and drawing on the contributions of all disciplines. As Admiral Stavridis stated in his closing comments, “No one of us is smarter than all of us connected.”
Given that March is Women’s History Month, and based on recent blog posts on various leadership blogs, I thought it might be interesting this week to reflect upon the female leaders in our lives. One blog in particular, Lip-Sticking, focuses on women’s issues and women’s roles in society, particularly as leaders and businesswomen. I enjoy it because it often makes me reflect upon how I can be a strong, female leader in my generation and an example for younger generations, especially if I am fortunate enough to one day have a daughter.
One question I have for all of you this week is: what woman in your life do you perceive to be a leader? Do they lead out loud, or in a more silent, powerful manner? I fondly recall one of my high school English professors, a woman named Dr. Conway, who lead in a silent but very powerful way. She was quite the feminist and ever the intellectual, and really spurred my passion for literature into action. She left my sophomore English class with many words of wisdom, including the insight to never feel limited by the roles people saw for us. If men or even other women perceived us a certain way, she dared us to break that mold and show that we were more than what they thought. I always appreciate that one of the ways she saw for us to do this was education, and that she lead by example with a Ph.D in English Literature!
Speaking of perceptions, there was an interesting article posted on Lip-Sticking on March 2 entitled “Copping Out of Opting Out.” It addresses the idea that many women choose to “opt out” of the workplace still in favor of raising children and focusing on family, or taking on other ventures, and that other women often opt out of the professional areas they have come to dominate. This latter category includes women such as Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey, both of whom recently chose to break out of their comfortable roles in daytime TV, in which they were prominent leaders, to try something new. The author of the article, Yvonne DiVita, goes against what many critics are saying about them now and asserts that just because “their new endeavors are not yet wildly successful, is not to say they don’t still deserve our admiration.”
These women and other powerhouses like them are enduring struggles just as they first did when they entered their original professions. Just because they chose to break out of the roles in which we are comfortable seeing them does not mean we should write them off as failures. Rather, we (men and women alike) should all be so brave to break outside of the mold and past our comfort zone to become leaders in a new field. Even if we fail, we can still lead by example and pick ourselves up again, learning from our mistakes and becoming better people and leaders for it.
So I pose the following questions to the class this week: what women leaders make or made a difference in your life? What kind of leaders are/were they? And what role, if any, do you think you need to or want to break out of in your personal/professional lives? I still sometimes find myself arguing with my mother and grandmother about the concept of “having it all”–a family and a successful professional life, and I’m working to find a balance of both.
Image courtesy www.oprah.com
A good question was brought up in today’s class. Do people volunteer to feel good or to really help other people? I agree with a comment made about American culture – it is self-centered. However, there are different types of volunteerism and reasons why it’s done. In this blog post, I’m going to focus on the volunteering our class is doing and the volunteerism most people can relate to. It’s not the same as a business donating money or time to a charity or as a retired person spending their time by volunteering.
While community service is used as a punishment in some cases, it isn’t the only reason people give back to the community. If you haven’t seen the movie Role Models, then you must because it’s hilarious and in the end there’s a message that can further my point. There is a mix in volunteerism between people who must give their time and the people who volunteer the extra time they have, but I think the end result is always the same.
Personally, I’ve grown up with a mother who constantly volunteered for the Special Olympics. I still remember going to events with her and seeing her work from distance. When I was old enough, my mom put me to work as well. In this case, I believe it is in her nature. She gravitated toward a teaching career and truly enjoyed volunteering with Special Olympics to help others. She always tells me how gratifying it is to see smiles on the faces of those she helps and after years of volunteering, I agree.
As I’ve grown up, I have volunteered my time to many different organizations. This weekend was a sort of volunteer weekend for me because not only did I go to the orange-picking event, but Sunday morning I volunteered at a Reducing Euthanasia at Shelters Through Commitment and Underlying Education (RESCUE ) event with my other Fiesta Bowl court members. These events are gratifying because there is never a time when after volunteering that the people you helped aren’t extremely thankful.
To answer the question whether volunteering is for a better self image or really to help others, I believe that even if someone walks into a volunteer situation with bad intentions they will walk out with a different perspective. Volunteering is individually gratifying, but I don’t believe that people do the act of volunteering solely to gain a better image. Someone may volunteer seeking a better reputation and in the end others do see them as a better person, but there’s an element of volunteerism that truly changes the heart.
It feels good to give back. Whether someone has personal motives doesn’t change that they have volunteered their extra time. I think if someone volunteers and doesn’t do the job they’ve been asked to do with 100% dedication, then it is a selfish act. Why volunteer at all?
I’d like to write and talk to all of you this week about a topic that I think about fairly often, particularly as I read my favorite blogs and then again when we have discussions about leadership. The main point here being, how do blogs make leaders out of ordinary people in unexpected ways?
I read several blogs, typically about interior design and travel, two of my biggest interests. I’ve noticed that some of the blogs I read reference back to others fairly frequently, citing ordinary people as leaders in a particular niche or field. What’s so fascinating to me is that just a few years ago, a lot of the people that write blogs like this one, Young House Love, were actually employed in other fields and have since made blogging their full-time job, devoting much of their time and resources to it.
I realize that the blogs I’m pinpointing here aren’t exactly journalistic or heavy in any way. However, they are well organized, well-written, and, most importantly, extremely impactful in a certain field. The authors of Young House Love used to work in advertising as a copy writer and account executive respectively. When they moved to Virginia from New York City and the wife started working from home, their blog started gaining momentum as she had more time to devote to it and build a community among their readers.
After being featured on a wide variety of other significant home improvement, do-it-yourself, and interior design blogs (like this one), Young House Love became a hub of knowledge on home improvement and the husband quit his own, secure full-time position at an ad agency to work full-time alongside his wife on the blog!
I think we can learn a lot from this blog and others like it. Here are a few key points that I’ve gleaned from reading their blog for the past two years:
- Organization develops strong leadership skills. The Petersiks write the blog, edit their own posts, respond to comments, shoot/edit videos, and are even writing a book all while raising a baby girl and a chihuahua! They’ve got a lot on their plate, but because they stay organized, they’re able to establish a certain posting and commenting schedule and stay accessible to their readers.
- Leaders learn and lead by trial and error. One of the biggest reasons I think this blog is popular in this niche is that the authors are so open about their triumphs and mistakes. When one of their ideas works, they share step-by-step how they installed their own dishwasher or how they successfully remodeled their kitchen. Then, if one of their ideas fails, they share those details, too. Their forthcoming attitude is not only endearing, but also honest and truly helpful.
- Communication and a sense of community can do wonders! People look to this couple to answer their own home improvement/DIY/interior design questions because they know they’ll be honest with them and because they’re accessible. The comment section on their blog is its own mini-online community and their Facebook page is a place where ideas can be exchanged in a free and safe way.
I think it’s vital to recognize the power of the Internet and blogging to build community and create leaders out of all of us. Sometimes leaders come from the most unexpected places and don’t expect to become leaders. When they do, though, and fully embrace their new role, then they can have a real and lasting impact in whatever community, niche, or organization they find themselves. Here’s one example of how they “lead” their readers–DIY home videos with their personalities shown throughout! I think it’s just another of the reasons people trust them so much.
So here’s a question for all of you: are there any blogs you read daily in which the authors are recognized as leaders in their field? Are they the same kind of unexpected bloggers as the Petersiks? Blogging can lead to some truly fascinating jobs/leadership roles!
Having Stephen Buckley of the Poynter Institute give his perspective on the digital future of journalism was extremely insightful. As he talked about news in today’s social media and citizen-journalism landscape, he repeatedly mentioned the term “crisis of credibility”. He explained that as news consumers become flooded with a wealth of available information (whether through blogs, or Facebook or websites), it is becoming increasingly harder for legitimate journalism entities and individual journalists to keep a reputation of integrity.
How do we know who to trust in the digital space? …. especially when it comes to social media like Twitter?
I couldn’t help but think of two prominent Twitter-related cases within the past month: the report of Joe Paterno’s death while he was still alive, and false tweet from actor Rob Lowe about the retirement of Peyton Manning.
While each of these spawned media reports, internet buzz, and trending topics, one thing remains true in each case: these false rumors were quickly debunked in favor of verified reports. What this indicates to me is a somewhat comforting feeling in today’s “crisis of credibility”. Verified information will always find its way to the top. The internet has merely given a wider platform from which to speak. Before the internet days there were no fewer people out spreading misinformation, they just didn’t have as many outlets from which to spread rumors. With Twitter and Facebook, “rumor-spreading” has been given a global platform. In the end, however, rumors are still rumors. While the instantaneous access to media spawns the ability to mislead, it also spawns the ability to correct reports in an instant.As a blog post by Ken Mueller about the Joe Paterno story states:
“Fortunately, the social web is incredibly self-correcting. While rumors can erupt online, they are generally corrected almost as rapidly. This doesn’t excuse the dissemination of false, or unverified information, but it is comforting”
We need to realize that with the wider spread of the internet, false information will come out. It’s inevitable. We aren’t used to it yet, but the internet and journalism are still relatively young in their relationship. What we can work on is working to combat and correct false reports as timely in as timely a manner as possible. Integrity and verification will find a way through the mess.
As promised last Monday, a little experiment in Storify, where I track Occupy Phoenix through its official coverage, citizen journalism, and social media:
[Please forgive the short, lazy blog post; all my energy tonight went into the Storify itself.]
One of the most interesting results of the Digital Information Age, to me, is how stories can play themselves out with all the major players having their own public online voice. The following example is ongoing & controversial, and I’m not asking anyone to take a side (nor will I).
Long story short: The Dalai Lama of Tibetan Buddhism is getting old. Eventually he’ll die, and his next “reincarnation” will have to be searched out and groomed to lead the followers of his (her?) faith. The problem? The Dalai Lama and the Chinese government have different ideas of how to do that.
This problem has been getting talked about for some time now, but has really come to a head in the past month. Both the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Dalai Lama selected the Panchen Lama (the religion’s #2 leader) over a decade ago, causing an imbroglio that continues today. (See also, here). But now the battle is over who will select the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama himself. The CCP has stated that they are already beginning their search; the Dalai Lama responded in a long statement on his Web site two days ago. A spokesman from the Foreign Ministry has already countered.
It’s a complicated issue that I won’t try to elaborate or explain. Just check out the links for yourself if you have time. But one thing is certain: This issue is already causing further unrest in Tibet.
I find this so interesting because here we have a conflict that’s both religious and political – and because it’s a conflict that probably would have taken place away from the public eye before the Digital Information Age. The CCP and the Dalai Lama are having a flame war! And we can read it as it happens … ah, this modern world of ours.
It also raises an interesting question about our role as journalists. The best way for us to cover this story (that is, contribute to people’s understanding of the story) is through aggregation and analysis, rather than simply report on what’s been said. Anyone who wants to know what the Dalai Lama or CCP has said can find and read it on their own. Our job is to make that reading more comprehensive and informed. This article does a rather good job. Notice that it’s also a non-traditional news source (though The Economist does a good job as well).
What should be the next step for “reporting” on a story such as this?
Consumers want more local content about their neighborhoods, Hilary Schneider, an executive vice president of America Region, Yahoo said tonight at the Must See Mondays at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Local advertising represents over 40% of the US advertising market, over 20% of all searches are local in nature and nearly 50% of all searches on mobile phones are located in the neighborhood”
In order to respond to the consumers until 2015, Yahoo plans twelve percentage of their content to be in short 2-3 minutes video snacks. Schneider explains that while Google is oriented towards creating platforms for researching, Yahoo is more publishing oriented.
The content mix is evolving, 20% is original, 30% is from the professional sources and 50% is from crowd sources. “We are bringing the best from the web”, explains Schneider. They are competing with CNN, Bloomberg and ESPN.
In the context of journalism, Schneider mention that next-generation editors should find news and information using traditional journalistic judgment, digital production, social networking, leveraging the crowd and understanding the digital product design and engineering.
The next generation of reporters will need a foundation in traditional journalistic skills, a strong sense of accuracy and credibility, flexibility, multi tasking and a sense of entrepreneurship.
The title of the post itself tells you that I want to share something nice:
We Feel Fine is a very fine website created by Jonathan Harris and Sep Kamvar. I came accross the name of the former and his number27.org at the ONA Conference in Washington DC this October. And at some time distance, I can tell you that his work is more than worthy exploring.
He makes projects that re-imagine how humans relate to technology and to each other, combining elements of computer science, anthropology, visual art and storytelling. His works have been shown accross the world, from The Museum of Modern Art in New York to Le Centre Pompidou in Paris. He is also documenting his life with one photo a day, so you can be meeting Jonathan Harris anywhere in the cyberspace. Enjoy his company and… feel fine.
I attended the Social Media Boot Camp for CEOs organized by Splash Media the other day. Registration was totally free! Just wanted to share a few things that I learned from there which I did not know before.
- ping.mf is a wonderful website which enables you to update your status, blog entries on at least 40 different social networks. This means you will no longer have to log in Facebook and Twitter or My Space simultaneously to update your status.
- “Google loves Linkedin“. Linkedin is more easily search-able for Google than any other site. So, the more you remain active on Linkedin, the brighter the prospects of being Google-searched.
- Youtube is NOT just like other sites. Don’t forget that the world’s second largest search engine is not Yahoo or Altavista. Its Youtube! So, put as many things related to yourself, your company as possible so that you are easily searched.
- Tweet at least three times a week. Big companies Tweet at least 25 times a week.
- Either blog regularly or don’t blog at all. Blogs with no updates for weeks and months may result in rejection of your job application with a certain company. Employers normally visit your blogs to see your level of commitment to your job.
- Make sure you purchase your name+com before it is taken before anyone else does that.
- Make sure you make own www.facebook.com/YOURNAME.
Posted By Malik
November 3, 2010 by yanginusa Leave a Comment (Edit)
One Friend from DC told me that some old guys in their 50s or 60s dominated the Famous Newspaper. They are too arrogant to change.
Yes, they have their capital to be arrogant. They are Pulitzer prize winners. But sometimes the past rewards could consider the past. As a media person you have to return zero frequently. Otherwise the ever changing industry could outcast you.
Here is a kid, 22 years old, the age that the society could probably ignore. But he did differently. In a short he make Time facebook and twitter and over 2 million audience like it.
One well-known anchor told me that he cannot accept new media and will be the last person who hold the newspaper. How could I say? The world is always belonging to the new generation.
Associate Editor, Special Projects, TIME
In May 2010, Dan Fletcher became the youngest person to ever write a cover story for TIME Magazine. What makes that even more impressive is that just one year before, Fletcher was an intern handling many of TIME’s early social media efforts on Twitter and Facebook. (The topic of his cover story? “Facebook…and how it’s redefining privacy.”)
Fletcher officially joined TIME in 2009 as social media producer/reporter and was the launch editor for the TIME.com NewsFeed. “As an intern I would say ‘Hey, we got this story on Digg,’ or ‘Hey I’m doing this on Twitter,’” says Fletcher. “TIME saw the need for it and they formalized the structure when they brought me back in June. I took the Twitter feed over manually and posted a note saying ‘Hi I’m Dan, taking over Twitter feed.’ Even the response we got from that was tremendous. The audience likes to know there’s someone behind these things listening.”
Today, TIME has about 150,000 Facebook fans and more than 2.2 million Twitter followers (up from zero last January).
Fletcher pitched the Facebook story during one of TIME’s regular Friday “big idea” meetings. “I’m pretty junior, but they’re open to everyone coming in,” says Fletcher. “I said Facebook was doing very cool things with the ‘like’ button, and they said go find out about it. [Managing editor] Rick Stengel embraced the idea and it worked out well for us. When all the privacy stuff hit in April we had this story in the bank.”
Last month, Fletcher was promoted to associate editor of special projects. “My role in the last six months has focused on getting this news feed blog up and running,” he says. “One of the big things I want to do, and TIME wants to do as an organization, is be more entrepreneurial. That’s the nature of the Web—we need to get things out the door quickly. Under this new structure we will pick projects we can work on intensely for a short amount of time and get them out. I can’t tip my hat too much on the first one, but we’re interested in partnering with universities across the country.”
As a journalism student, Fletcher was never sure if he was going to make the jump to traditional media. “I coded my first Web site at age 12 and I had a photo blog in college, so I’m very much in the new media mentality,” he says. “Coming to TIME as an intern was an interesting transition. It’s been refreshing. The battle to convince print media that the Web is relevant was won before my time. Now we get to fuse all these bloggy ideas, and do guerilla work on social media networks, with one of the storied brands in journalism. It’s refreshing that opportunity still exists.”
The Online News Association is the world’s largest association of online journalists, with the mission to inspire innovation and excellence among journalists to better serve the public.
The annual ONA conference was held by the end of October in Washington DC and I was happy enough to participate and see how far new media have gone in the USA. Just as the co-chairs wrote in the catalogue: In the past years we’ve witnessed an explosion of online news… from energetic local upstairs to deep investigative reporting by media companies and nonprofits alike. Newsrooms are rushing to create killer apps, partner with universities and slice data like never before. And ONA 10 reflects the evolution. It was three days of hyper informative sessions - from web design trends, social-media storytelling, building brands, to navigating the media market – and interesting workshops of tips and tricks for everyday use of the ever-growing online market.
The best products of the industry won different awards. As a public media fan, I am particularly happy to see that PBS and NPR are very much alive and kicking in the new era of electronic media.
ASU has autstanding members in the ONA: Director of News21 Jody Brannon is on its Board of Directors, and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Media Director of the New Media Innovation Lab Retha Hill was among the presenters of the Knight News Challenge competition for this year’s $5 million grant to innovative authors in bringing the information to communities in new ways.
… that is the title of my first blog EVER in history published in the Croatian media, i.e. medium – my Croatian TV. Small step for mankind, but giant leap for my two or three fans back home! It is the official start of me like a new media journalist, which is the real purpose of me being here and now. I shared sad moments with you, my dear Humphrey Fellows (and hopefully many other readers in the future), and I feel like sharing a happy one too.
It was on the front page of the www.hrt.hr all day yesterday (Croatia is 9 hours ahead), and further on you can see the link on the HRT blog page. It is only in Croatian, but you will certainly recognise the photos of Arizona and me. Also, the second link in the blog is on Malik Siraj Akbar Writes.
Who has ever had a heretic thought of not loving social media?