Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Al Tompkins speaks to UNO journalism students

Speaking to a group of select University of Nebraska at Omaha journalism students, Al Tompkins shared his insight about the journalism industry of today and tomorrow.

Before starting his PowerPoint presentation, Tompkins discussed what he said is a "bright future" for an industry which many have said is in decline.

Tompkins, Broadcast and Online Group Leader at the Poynter Institute, said technology and expertise will create jobs for journalists.

"If you are smart enough, good enough and persistent, you are gonna find work," he said.

Using technology as his reasoning, Tompkins spent all of three hours giving a presentation of the most significant new journalism technology, something he said is creating a new era of journalism.

"Its gonna get real cool, real soon," he said.

He rattled off a plethora of different software, tools and devices, with some as basic as Twitter and Flip cameras and others reminiscent of James Bond or Mission Impossible gadgets.

One program allows video to be manipulated much like a photo in Photo Shop.

For example, an image could be replaced with another image without even the slightest change in video quality--and this is video, not still photo.

"This type of technology could either be used to do good, or it could be used to be very evil," Tompkins said.

Tompkins said even with technology, it will take something more to be successful in a increasingly competitive and independent industry.

"Its all about the story," he said. "If the story is strong, people will watch, or read."

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