Tech journalists speak at Manual

Tech journalists speak at Manual

Jason Hiner, Editor-in-Chief of TechRepublic, and Ashlee Clark-Thompson, Senior Associate Editor at CNET, visited Manual on Feb. 22 as the third installment of the J&C magnet-sponsored series, Consider This.

They spoke to Manual students about their first-hand experiences in journalism and gave advice to students who are interested in the field.

Jason Hiner and Ashlee Clark-Thompson answer audience questions. Photo by Piper Hansen.

“Journalism is not the most popular job. Getting made fun of by the President of the United States can be hard,” Hiner said.

Both Hiner and Clark-Thompson work in reporting on technology advancements. Hiner defined business technology as “the technology that people use to get their jobs done.”

“You might not think that you’re interested in technology, but it impacts your life every day,” Clark-Thompson said, referring to smartphones.

While studying journalism in college, Hiner and Clark-Thompson learned the most by doing.

“Student journalism set the stage for me,” Clark-Thompson said.

Hiner and Clark-Thompson agreed that the willingness to be uncomfortable is essential for aspiring young journalists.

“Be willing to be uncomfortable: I had to be okay with being the only black person in my town and I embraced that because it made me different,” Clark-Thompson said.

Being different gives Clark-Thompson a “different perspective” on what she’s reporting on.

Hiner gave a piece of advice for covering events that stuck with most audience members.

“Always look like you’re supposed to be there. The best journalism is the stuff that people don’t want others to know,” Hiner said.

Fatima Bryant (12, MST) showed interest in the technology aspect of the speech.

“Incorporating journalism in how technology works is a really smart idea,” Bryant said.

Technology and journalism are very fast paced and changing fields, according to the speakers.

“It’s a great profession for someone like me who has a short attention span,” Hiner said.

Hiner and Clark-Thompson agreed that adaptability in the journalism field is the best skill one can have.

“Journalism is always changing and you’re always learning new things,” Clark-Thompson said.

Because the audience was a majority of high school students, the speakers emphasized embracing youthfulness.

“I saw potential in Twitter when it first came out and I used it to live tweet a murder trial. Use your age to your advantage,” Clark-Thompson said. 

Clark-Thompson and Hiner concluded by saying that combining two things that you love doing makes a great career and you will never stop learning.

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