Can’t We All Just Get Along ..With the Story?!

Hello World,

So as always we talked about a myriad of topics in tonight’s Digital Communications live session; from poopourri to the best super bowl commercials, but one thing that rang true for me was the underlying current of a divide between advertising and public relations professionals and journalism professionals somewhere awkwardly lodged in the middle.

Whether it’s advertisers telling a story about a product in a 30 second spot that rarely tells the consumer about the price, how it works, or where it’s made, but tries to always tell a story.  To the aspiring Olivia Pope’s of the world that need to do damage control on their clients’ – to quote one of our students tonight “public relations nightmare” (with Tanika attitude and tone); will depend on how well you are able to “spin” the story. At the core most journalism professionals, news reporters/writers, and the like try to do what, most days? Tell a story. Granted the story could be and usually is one sided, it’s still a side of a story.

We all do it so well.  Even in my current profession I get to “trick” learners into; well, learning.  Whether it be through quizzes, surveys, games, or leveraging gamification during instructional design, to presenting case studies with great stories for analysis and discussion, I am essentially trying to engage my learner any way that I can.  Sometimes as consumers the story is too good to resist, whatever that temptation may be.  To most of each professionals’ point, it’s not a good story if you didn’t buy, do something, or at least give thought or pause to the story. I think only Sean Diddy Combs can say it best. WARNING EXPLICIT LANGUAGE– 

What’s the common theme folks?  You guessed it! The story.  We spend time discussing the minutia of who’s doing what, why, when, and how, and we are all doing the same damn thing! Let’s do it together for the sake of the the story and ultimately the consumer. If I haven’t learned anything else this semester is “It’s all about the story.” What amazes me is the ability to work with such smart, diverse, talented professionals, that each have a unique contribution to the learning experience that I am just happy to be one of the story tellers among them all.

Still Room for Old School Journalists?

Hello World,

Long time since I’ve been able to use this time to reflect on what I’ve been learning in the awesome Syracuse Communications Master’s program.

Well my terror has somewhat subsided since our last engaging talk about where in the world do old school journalist fit in, in such an evolving technologically savvy world?  I am proud to say that I had my very first journalism internship at the AFRO American newspaper in DC fell in love with it.  You can take a glance of my very early work (don’t judge the hair style!) Journalism Articles to get an idea of how proud I was to have a “by-line” in a “REAL” newspaper.

I was terrified at the thought that if I couldn’t keep up with the latest and greatest tech, that my dreams, aspirations, and soul would be crushed by being a self proclaimed tech-tarded person.

What I’ve come to find is that it’s all about the story.. not necessarily the delivery of the story.  So if you’ve got a great reporter, journalist, writer, producer, or media professional I don’t think they will be replaced by younger, tech savvier, cooler, tech guru as they will be able to successfully collaborate with these communications professionals to serve a common goal for the source of the story.

I will say that it is equally important for old school journalist to do their due diligence to learn and leverage the technology so that the collaboration efforts will be more fruitful.  Things old school communication professionals need to think about are how the story gets developed, will it be easily convertible into other formats/media outlets, what will be the technology used to deliver the story, and how interesting is the story for the newer digital audience, basically the ultimate questions of “who cares and why?”

While visiting Denver I wanted to see what the job market was like as I have several options of a new career within walking distance to me. Not only can I get to ABC 7, but also FOX and NPR in less then a 5 minute walk.

ABC 7 News Denver,CO
ABC 7 News Denver,CO Shot by Jessica Banks

l also took it upon myself to see what jobs were industry standard and relatively similar to my old school experience and if there were newer job postings and roles that were more specific to digital medial, social media and the like.  I was pleasantly surprised to find room for an “old school” journalist with plenty of growth potential for newer skills to master in the ever evolving world of journalism innovation. Just in case you’re thinking about moving to Denver (because I am), ABC 7 is hiring!

Social Media Jobs for Moldy Oldies?

In this weeks course we were forced to really examine how far we’ve come as a society because of technology and how our own experiences shape and develop how we view the technology itself.  The internet for example was something many thought was a fad, and extreme skepticism existed around it’s ability to stick around.  See Clifford Stoll’s take on “Why the Web Won’t Be Nirvana”.

I’m sure people thought that Clifford made sense, and for the times, he did.  However someone asking those very same questions of “the web” today would possibly be admitted into a nice padded room. Similar to the movie “12 Monkey’s” who and what to believe about the future? So the fact that the internet has changed almost every way we live, I want to explore the notion of how the internet and social media specifically has impacted the job market.

For the Baby Boomer generation and before, how are they fairing in a job market that is every demanding for technical savvy and know how?  How will they be able to adapt their “old school” expertise and technique in a new world full of technological breakthroughs?  Even generation X’ers and Y’ers have to ask themselves questions about how to adapt in today’s world.  Even though we grew up in a more technologically advanced era then the Boomers, there is still a sense of “Wow, I feel really old.” when trying to navigate the wavy waters of the latest technology.  Yes, Information Technology (IT) departments were an absolute must have, coupled with stellar marketing teams, for a business to even have a leg to stand on.  But now a days it takes so much more to go beyond just standing in the market place and get loss in the sauce to running a marathon over time and making a huge impact with consumers.

Taking a look at this 2015 article written in the beginning of this year about social media usage, business’ would be signing their death certificates to not take in account these behaviors.  Companies big and small have a ever growing need for people to “tame the beast” that is the internet and social media.  As from Stroll’s article we know that it’s not a phase, this will become the normal way of communicating and engaging as each moment passes.

To my other moldy oldies out there, let’s not be caught of guard or unemployed with the mistake of not being open minded, ahead of the curve, and flexible to leverage the technology that we gratefully aren’t too tech-tarded to start learning, leveraging, and possibly loving.  As the article below indicates we don’t want to continue to try to fit square pegs in round holes.  There are a myriad of jobs, needs, challenges as well as solutions, that communication professionals need to have a close pulse on, otherwise we will be looking at signing our own death certificates.

Viewing the Media with a Critical Eye


It’s close to one am and I am pretty awake for it to be a normal Wednesday morning when most days this hour I am usually going to bed or already asleep.  What keeps me awake at this hour? Simply put, it’s what I spy with my media critical eye. My first week in a new online masters program with Syracuse University has me already looking at 30 second PSA’s to political debates with such a critical eye that life will never be the same.

Our class is so diverse with so much talent, expertise, and value add, at moments I can’t believe we are able to leverage the experience in such a way without any geographic barriers.  This week our conversation was focused around digital convergence, and where we have come from and where we are headed, and what role does media, technology, and communication play in the grand scheme of things.

At about 11:40 pm after my second class ended, I was sitting down to eat for the first time of the day (yes I know, my challenge in self care is another blog post) and of course I was thinking about class as I was half watching Jon Stewart, my own daily new source. I was thinking would Jon’s show be considered low or high culture?  I smiled to myself knowing that in the first week this class has already challenged me to look at things from a different lens and more critical eye..  Half listening to President Obama say that he wanted to issue an executive order for Jon not to leave the show, I immediately perked up and stopped chewing even, to see what the president had to say about his perception of media coverage.  As I get up from the dinner table to get the remote to rewind the comments and replay them to make sure I heard him right, I figured this was my perfect opportunity to reap the benefits of being so critical of the media elements that I’ve interacted with in the last week.

See the video of President Obama speak to Jon about practically all the things we talked about in our class tonight.  The media being “a bunch of different medias” similar to our discussion on different media outlets and their agenda and the narrowcast topic as well.  He speaks on the White House press office being “too slow” in redesigning or re-engineering and being “not as well adapted to this new environment”, which screams digital convergence challenges at even 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.  No one is exempt from the responsibility of “keeping up” with and staying ahead of where the future may take us and how we view media and their role in our lives and decisions, technology and how it helps or hinders us, and ultimately our own call to actions to impact the world.

Hello world!

Hello there, my name is Jessica Banks and I am starting my very first blog.  I have to be truthful and let you know that this creation is a requirement for a college course in the MS in Communications program at Syracuse University, but I am thankful for the challenge.

So what is this blog going to be about, why should you care, or what’s in it for you?  I can assure you that by taking a few moments out of your day and reading this blog you will experience good news and learning, good collaboration, and good vibes all at the same time.

Though the initial blog posts will focus on digital communication and the communication landscape and how it changes and impacts us as a society, I will try to include the three elements mentioned above and hope that you, the world, can help by sharing your own good news to this blog.  Have a resource like a white paper or video to contribute to the topic, a question to ask or comment to share, a personal story or even an emotional outburst?… feel free to post away. I welcome your insight and feedback, I only ask that your engagements include one, if not all the “good elements” that BanksGoodNews is all about.

I remember someone telling me that “Everyone is a teacher and everyone is a learner; no one knows everything and every one knows something.”  Let’s begin this journey together to share, grow, and be positive change agents through spreading good news in the world.

Happy Blogging