Mac DeMere speaks to Elon University students about the future of online journalism

March 14, 2009 at 12:59 am Leave a comment

By Patrick McCabe

Written March 13, 2009

His hands trembled, clutching his notebook; he tapped his toes and began to speak on the future of journalism.  Mac DeMere spoke at Elon University earlier today, addressing reporting classes and sharing his personal journalist experiences as well as gaining insight into what university students saw for the future of this changing field.

Mac DeMere speaks to university students about his own journalistic experiences.

Mac DeMere speaks to university students about his own journalistic experiences.

“The whole journalism media is [currently] in a war and we don’t know how it is going to end,” said freelance writer and automotive journalist Mac DeMere.

DeMere has worked for a number of automative magazines and also works as a race car driver instructor. His love for the automotive industry has remained apparent in his career, whether serving as a teacher or journalist.

He began working in the automotive career as a journalist but as technology developed he had to conform and now does some work on air, whether in commercials or segments for online content.

“I was driving a car at 210 miles per hour and I get out of the car and they stick that glass lens in my face. My heart raced to 160” said DeMere about his first experience on camera.

As a seasoned journalist, DeMere had a lot of advice to share with students. There are four major things that he focuses on when reporting a story. These include accuracy, timeliness, length and interest.

“You have to be correct and know what you are reporting on,” said DeMere. “it is much more of a challenge if you don’t know the intricacies.”

Friend and colleague, Bill King, joined part way through DeMere’s discussion, sharing his insight on the industry and looking for students opinions about online content.

King told students that the automotive company he works for, oncars.com, has found that video content has one hundred times the hits as opposed to written content.

“In one respect I am not all that surprised that our written content is down” King said.

When questioning student on their opinions about online content King found most students find both video and written content important.

“I don’t have twenty minutes to watch a video,” said Elon sophomore Camille DeMere I need the information immediately and I can’t get that from a video.”

While students appreciated online video, many agreed that written content is much easier to quickly process and grab information from.

It appears that journalism is quickly moving towards online media and multiple forms of media. For seasoned journalists like Mac DeMere and Bill King this means learning new technology and as for university students it means learning a new journalistic style.

See Mac DeMere talk about the journalism war

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Entry filed under: Journalism. Tags: , , , , .

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