I am the future of journalism (Publish2: 12/30/08)

By Christopher Wink | Dec. 30, 2008 | Publish2

It is 11:55 p.m. on Dec. 30, 2008: minutes before deadline. Perfect.

I am very young and very green. Sometimes I spend entire hours thinking about everything I don’t know. Then I go ask a journalist.

My name is Christopher Wink, and I am the future of journalism because I don’t know anyone who loves the history of journalism and is excited by the future of journalism as much as I am. New media punditry is mostly filled with those who say print is dead and seem downright gleeful about it, and those who are still wondering, hey, why don’t all the newspapers get together and not put any content online?

I want to do both.

The future of journalism will only work if we respect where we have been and look to where we can go. The men and women I admire most have stories to tell about times I will never know, of crime and corruption and 25 percent profit margins for newspapers. I want to use the remarkable tools we have today to tell stories better.

I love the idea of niche corners of big urban newspaper brands. I want the journalists I love to do their remarkable work more efficiently with a bigger, broader voice. Humbly, I’d like to be there for it.

I graduated from Temple University, where I spent four glorious years writing and editing for The Temple News, last May and am now trying to establish myself in the rough-and-tumble world of freelancing. I talk about branding and monetizing as much as I do about ledes and nut grafs. I am reading and learning and arguing about the future of journalism daily.

Sometimes old newspaper hounds indulge me with their tales of conquest and failure on the beat, undercover, embedded, in bureaus now shuttered. I am amazed long enough to imagine how social media and new technologies could have better told their stories and spread them more efficiently around the world.

I want my children to someday see journalists in a newsroom as cunning idols, not in a museum as stubborn fools. And that’ why I am the future of journalism.

This was my submission for a contest with Publish2 on Dec. 30, 2008.