Leadership and citizen journalism

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“My job is to help make the people around me better at what they do.”

Of all the wise words Stephen Buckley of the Poynter Institute shared with us last Monday, these stood out to me the most. To me, Buckley is the perfect example of a servant leader. He leads by motivating others to realize their full potential, and by doing so, he ensures that the entire organization runs smoothly.

I also liked what he said about prioritizing: “One of the things that leaders have to do is figure out what their priorities are and schedule them.” In a world that’s becoming increasingly fast-paced, this is great advice. I’m personally guilty of trying to take on too many things at once, and to hear that prioritizing is key to good leadership inspired me to improve my scheduling habits.

Along with advice on leadership, Buckley had some interesting things to say about where journalism is headed. One thing that really resonated with me was his point about the fact-checking movement being a response to citizen journalism — a way to hold “journalists” accountable and promote credibility even as the line is blurred between journalists and readers.

“We can’t control an act of journalism,” Buckley said. “There are no journalism police.”

But if we as journalists strive to ensure that the news continues to be reported fully and accurately — regardless of the source — then maybe we can maintain credibility in journalism even as the industry goes through a drastic series of changes.

2 Comments on “Leadership and citizen journalism”

  1. Julia–I too WAY overbook myself constantly! I think it’s vital that, in order to lead, we need to make time for others. Whether this means catching up over a quick cup of coffee, or scheduling our own “open hours” for friends, family, and new faces, it is what expands our worldview and makes us better equipped to lead.

    I also agree with you that we need to be the example of the future. This is our own time to lead and shine, because if we produce credible stories in our own mediums, we simultaneously increase the credibility (I believe, anyway) of the medium as a whole.

  2. Julia, I loved your post. As a Barrett student, we all have the need to succeed and to overbook/overwork ourselves at times. Scheduling priorities and even setting aside time each week for “open hours” is something everyone needs! Like Caroline said, setting time aside just to talk and listen to others does expand our worldview, which will in turn, make us all better leaders. Sometimes leaders do have to step back and observe.

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