I just got out of the keynote address at BlogWorld called “The Death & Rebirth of Journalism”. It was a panel talking about traditional media (newspapers, tv news, magazines etc) and new media (blogging, social media, etc.)  The panelists included Brian Solis, Jay Rosen, Hugh Hewitt, Don Lemon, and Joanna Drake Earl.  Here is what I remember, what made an impression and what I took away from it.  (And a “Thank You” to BlogWorld and the panelists for all the fabulous food for thought!)

It felt a bit like sibling rivalry (new vs. traditional media) and panels like this trying to be the parent, show both sides and make everyone get along and see the good points and value in each child.  (Hopefully it will work because there is a place and need for all.)

One thing that really struck me was when they started discussing journalism education today.  “Is it relevant and does it prepare aspiring journalists to survive and thrive in today’s market?”  The answer I heard was, “Absolutely not”.  Education needs to change because media is changing.  Students today are being prepared for the industry that existed 5-10 years ago.  (I doubt the parents paying the bills for this education would be happy to hear it!)

Why is that the case?  Another part of the discussion talked about the “ice age” going on today.  Things are changing, compressing.  Magazines and newspapers and being cancelled in alarming numbers.  We’ve seen this in the art & craft magazines for sure.  Just last week (or maybe the week before?) Gourmet Magazine announced they will end publication after 70 years.  Wow!

Media is in a big melting pot – Facebook, Online news, traditional print and Twitter all part of the mix now.  You can’t just be a “magazine journalist” and expect to survive.  How will all the current and future journalists be paid?  With traditional employers becoming fewer, will journalists become bloggers being paid through advertising, joint ventures, and more?  Time will tell.

But how does this apply to artists? And what is the message I found in this discussion of journalism, for the artist who wants to license their art?

I’m typing while it’s still reeling around in my brain so forgive me if I am swirling a little – welcome to my brain!  Here is what I took from this talk that I would like to share with you:

Every industry is in flux.  Our training and mindsets, even from a year ago, may not be enough to thrive in the next year or decade.

Keep learning. Watch what is going on in many industries and see what you can learn and use in your business.  Promotion methods are ever evolving.  As my sister loves to say, “This internet thing… I don’t think it’s a fad.”  It’s not, it’s changing everything.

Look for new opportunities to use your art to help people using the internet. Some of their stuff is just ugly.  As the internet evolves, the need for better graphics, design and art will grow.  New opportunities to connect, brand and license?  I think so and I’m watching for them…

Be aware of what you say online. People are watching and listening.  Be constructive and not nasty in the way you choose to disagree.  Channel your high school English teacher who taught you about debating, be nice and respectful and you will get that in return.  Lashing out and being nasty will get you… either nasty back or no where.

Be true to who you are but don’t be stuck in who you are today.  I really believe that the flexible will thrive so grab your proverbial yoga mat and limber up!

OK… my mind-dumb is done.  I’d love for you to chime in and give me your ideas and observations.  Talk to me!

Back to the “BlogWorld” – it really is a different place than the ‘art world’ – but fun and inspiring all the same.

Here’s to your creative success!