Mass Com Week at TSU
Mass Communications is changing so rapidly that universities have been retooling for the past several semesters to address new media and its ramifications in the future. Meanwhile, traditional media still lingers although fewer and fewer people are in the more and more segmented audiences.
So, each year the Journalism and Mass Communications Department of Texas State University in San Marcos attempts to make sense of it all during Mass Communications Week. The 2009 Mass Communications Week is October 19-11 on the TSU campus. Panels and guest speakers are asked to foretell the future, but who could have made a successful prediction about the 2009 state of the art a decade or two decades ago? Research says consumers eagerly adopt new media, if it works, but they don’t in general immediately dispose of the traditional media. Audiences adapt and integrate the new media use with the “old”.
The use of traditional media may diminish over time. Look what has happened to the film camera. There are, however, some surprises. I don’t expect the return of 8-track tape players. Vinyl LPs (Long Playing records)—yes, the 33 1/3 discs spinning on a motor driven turntable are said to be making a come-back. Enthusiasts say there is a greater chance that the LPs will outlast CDs (Compact Discs). I’ve been encouraged to have my music pressed for preservation if nothing else.
Never the less, experts and others of all stripes will converge on the TSU campus next week carrying their crystal balls. Crystal balls break easily when dropped. The question-answer sessions at these events can be testy when skeptical students call theories into question. That’s all good. It’s in the name of education.
Some of the highlights:
Gary Vaynerchuk, author of “Crush It!” and host of “Wine Library TV”-“Making a Name for Yourself With Social Media”, speaks 3:30 p.m.-4:40 p.m. on October 21st.
Brian Cuban, Dallas attorney—“The 1st Amendment, the Internet, and Hate Speech”, appears 2 p.m.-3:20 p.m. on October 21st.
Patti Smith, President and GM of KVUE TV (ABC)—speaks on the “Past, Present, and Future of Television News”, 11a.m.-12:20 p.m. On October 20th.
Daniel Pink, author of “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future”, will also speak Wednesday, Oct. 21st at 8 p.m. His talk, part of the university’s Common Experience program, and will discuss how creativity and innovation are the way of the future. It is also free and open to the public.
Many of the presentations are on nuts-and-bolts topics such as “Preparing for Entry-Level TV News Jobs” and “Using New Media to Keep Up with Changing Times”. Others are more forward thinking such as “Beyond Mad Men: Life in Today’s Ad Agency” and “Love/Hate Relationship Between Reporters and PR People”. Along with Kevin Benz, News 8 news director, John Bridges of the Austin American-Statesman, and I will grapple with the subject “State of Local Media”, 12:30-1:50 p.m. on October 20th. It should be interesting. I’m not sure how to prepare for it.
These are just a few of a full four days of stimulating dialogue about Journalism and Mass Communications at Texas State University. Find much more information at www.txstatemcweek.com.
© Jim McNabb, 2009