Break news, Be responsible.

Every journalist fears that one wrong source. That source that sends your amazing, “Ahhh!”, breaking story into a catastrophic mess and taints your name and career for at least some time to come, maybe not forever.

However, there are those people that do in fact ruin their entire career and legacy. **SPOILER ALERT** In the book The Best Laid Plans by Sidney Sheldon (a personal favorite)Leslie Stewart does that unforgettable, unthinkable action of using a source, and producing her work into the media world without double checking her facts.

As Steve Fox mentions in his article “’Think before you act’ and more rules for journalists on Twitter,” all Twitter Tweeters should make sure that the article or “breaking news story” is factual. When comparing CNN’s Twitter page to CBS’s, I noticed that one does not retweet anyone, while the other only retweets its other news correspondents, editors, and Twitter handles, CNN being the latter of the two. Though both are highly renowned and credible sources for breaking news, one gets all of its own content and then allows it to be dispersed elsewhere, where CNN is fond of retweeting its other correspondents, stories, and other CNN advocates.

Another important fact that I learned about organizations and their social media usage, is that they cover a very wide variety of topics, but a lot of their tweets are boring. Now I know that they do not belong to a certain type of people or that they are only here to report on certain things, but a little mix up of what they do could always help.

And yes, some of their tweets do use photo and video, but a majority is still stuck in the past of straight text articles.

Developing myself to be “More Than a Trademark”

“Wilson? Is that your first name or last name? Wait, your name is Wilson Wilson? Oh, like the volleyball/off of Dennis the Menace/Home Improvement?”

These are all questions I receive almost every time I introduce myself to someone new, each with everyone thinking they are cleverer than the last. Though at times it is slightly annoying when friends or colleagues are constantly belting my name with a mix of “I’m sorry Wilson!” in between, it is something that has grown on me and what I have come to love about my name.

In my 21 years, 9 months, and 18 days (give or take) of existence, I have only met ONE other first name Wilson. While I would love for “Wilson” to be my personal brand, I’m sure the sporting goods company and the belt and other leather accessories company would not be too happy with that choice. So, about 2 or 3 years ago, I came up with my own brand “More Than a Trademark.” While it is on my personal blog and my personal Twitter, and is listed on this blog and my professional Twitter, @FulkWilson, it is still in the process of being developed. As Steve Buttry, from The Buttry Diary, points out, branding can be personal or public. No matter where my brand is or is going, it will always be changing and developing.  I’m not worried about it taking off. It has been and will be my brand, but Nike wasn’t built nor developed in a day.

As NPR’s media correspondent David Folkenflik says in a quote, “People often confuse ‘ideological’ with ‘having a voice.’” I think these are some of the best words of wisdom when it comes to developing your own personal brand. The article “Branded journalists battle newsroom regulations” is a great and empowering way to inform people of the ways to develop and create themselves, while staying in regulation of obsessive or disrespectful.

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2013: A chance to create yourself, if you can keep up

While I may not have a chosen field or a chosen career just yet, I do have a strong interest and passion for the field and makings of journalism and all that surrounds it. Though journalism has changed greatly over the past few years, not to mention decades, I feel that it is still years away from its highest potential. One of the biggest things I believe in for the year 2013 is what Aron Pilhofer, editor of interactive news at the New York Times, and what Steve Herrmann, editor of BBC News online,  state in the piece “10 things every journalist should know in 2013” is that “it’s all about skills, skills, skills.” They both admit that this industry is ever changing and that with the market and way this industry is run, if you can’t keep up you will get left behind. The ability to do a wide variety of things, like photographs, videos, graphics, audio, etc., are basic functions that are becoming more common for all journalists to know how to do, and if you can’t do one of them, I’m sure they can find someone else that can.

Another important impact of 2013 is what Callie Schweitzer, director of marketing and special projects for Vox Media, mentions is that the change in focus over the years has greatly improved. While we used to rely on the faces and the certain people of broadcast news like Katie Couric and Matt Lauer, it is now on whom YOU are and what YOU have built. While those broadcast anchors we still rely on are great people, they had to make a name for themselves somehow.

So, why can’t you or I?

Meeting the People of Phoenix from afar

With a mix of browsing the interwebs and procrastinating homework and the things on my “To Do” list, I came across a website dedicated to the dreams of the people of Phoenix, Arizona. With an opening quote by Henry David Thoreau stating “Dreams are the touchstones of our character,” the workings of Streets of Dreams: People & Places of Downtown Phoenix allows the people of Phoenix to show and share their truest dreams.

 I like the basis of this site, as it incorporates interviews with the unique people of Phoenix, as well as audio, video, photographs, and text. It allows the people to be in their comfort zone of an element and show their identities in the most real way possible. The team behind this site has both formal interviews with the “dreamer” and footage of the people in their actual “element”.

The concept of this site is a great idea. Everyone has dreams. And while some people get to fulfill their dreams easily, others have to take more time and effort to achieve their dreams. Streets of Dreams is an interactive, interesting site that ranges from a hotdog vendor to an antique shop owner to an artist and a student. The site is easy to view and maneuver through to learn about the people of Phoenix.

Though probably not a site that is visited regularly, as I’m not sure if it is updated and filled with new content on a regular basis, to see and hear other people from a place I personally have never been to share their dreams and the interworking of themselves is an interesting way to get to know a place and the people that walk its streets.