REDDIT Q&A WITH DAVID CARR
Q: As a fledgling journalist, I’m constantly having conversations about breaking into the field during these “changing” times — the internet makes reporting today way different from reporting decades ago. Say you graduated from college this past year and were trying to break into the journalism field. Do you think this hypothetical career trajectory would be the same as your actual one? Not exactly comparable, but I’m interested in hearing how media today could’ve affected or changed your development as a journalist.
A: Right now, being a reporter is a golden age. There may be a lack of business models to back it up, but having AKTOCA on — All Known Thought One Click Away — on my desktop, tablet or phone makes it an immensely deeper, richer exercise than it used to be.
And the velocity of change is only increasing. Right now, I can talk to my phone and tablets and it knows what I am saying. What happens when it knows what my sources are saying and renders real-time transcripts? We are getting very close. And what happens when speech becomes text on the Web. One of the barriers to entry has been that you have to type what you are thinking to blog about that. What happens when that barrier goes away? Content is going to further explode, and I can’t figure out if that is good or bad for those of us who are in the Signal vs. Noise business.
Q: I’m a freshman in college right now & journalism is a career that interests me. Is there any advice you can share on being successful in journalism?
A: You have to make stuff. The tools of journalism are in your hands and no one is going to give a damn about what is on your resume, they want to see what you have made with your own little fingies. Can you use Final Cut Pro? Have you created an Instagram that is about something besides a picture of your cat every time she rolls over? Is HTML 5 a foreign language to you? Is your social media presence dominated by a picture of your beer bong, or is it an RSS of interesting stuff that you add insight to? People who are doing hires will have great visibility into what you can actually do, what you care about and how you can express on any number of platforms.