spryfry says: Where did you go to school? What did you want to be when you were a kid?
» SFB says: I thought I was going to program video games for a living, but a funny thing happened on the way there—I started writing for video game sites (most notably the old-school gaming site Zophar’s Domain) and realized that I really liked writing. So my first semester at Saginaw Valley State University, I dropped out of my computer science class. Then I eventually transferred to Michigan State University to major in journalism. The funny part of all this is, other than Dots, I don’t play video games anymore. — Ernie @ SFB
l1ttlebulldozer says: What advice would you give a recent college graduate about looking for jobs in the world of news and social media? Are they destined to flop finding a career or is this type of platform something that will continue to grow?
» SFB says: Side projects are essential. They show initiative and prove that you can step up. Be willing to put the work in on your own to show you can do it, then use it as a starting point to take things even further. Fill out your portfolio with the outside-of-work stuff and you’ll stand out. — Ernie @ SFB
queencitysavior says: This blog is a great example of new media that I share with my journalism students. Do you consider this blog a "legitimate" (for lack of a better word) journalism medium?
» SFB says: I think journalism is as legitimate as you make it. I admit I don’t have nearly the energy I did at this when I first started almost five (!) years ago, but I think that the reason it’s always been worth doing is because context and points of interest are essential.
I have a more-intensive job than I did when I started (and I’m getting married in a month—more on that later), so it’s tough to devote the time to SFB that I once did, but I think that the truth remains that journalism has to evolve its audience and reach the audience at their level.
That said, you have to be willing to keep evolving. Maybe Tumblr isn’t the end-all platform, much as I enjoy it. Maybe the future is a blog on Ghost. Maybe it’s a Rebelmouse-only site. And maybe the site takes a step away from news of the day to something else. But I think your students should be willing to pound away at whatever platform comes up and reach those people at their pace.
One more thing I’ll say: For my day job, when I interview people, the first thing I look for is social media and blogging experience. People should paint outside the lines. Because that’s where all the fun stuff happens. And if it’s done with the right intent, it’s legitimate. — Ernie @ SFB
My team is really good at news. They are really good at programming. For me one of the best things we can do is raise the wall between news and programming even higher. We need that wall high. We serve different functions.Fox News host Shepard Smith • Discussing his new role with the network, which will have him host a daily 3 p.m. newscast and then break in throughout the day with any breaking news that arises. Beyond adding more separation between news and opinion like Smith is suggesting above, this would help solve the problem Fox is currently having with its programming (no, not that one; nor that one; not that one, either; really, anything on this site)—the fact that Sean Hannity is about to lose his time slot to Megyn Kelly. See, Smith (who has a better rep than most of his co-workers) has long held down the 7 p.m. slot—now he’s going to get pushed back.