The saying goes, history is written by the victors. Now, in the twenty-first century, history is written by anyone with a computer and a smartphone.
“This is a job where you are a witness to history,” said Tim Franklin, managing editor of Bloomberg News Washington bureau.
Franklin spoke to professor Janna Anderson’s reporting class Friday, sharing advice with students, and telling stories from his thirty-plus years in the industry.
Franklin is a graduate of Indiana University, and has had an illustrious career in the media industry. Franklin began his career with the Chicago Tribune, where he worked for 17 years, rising from reporter to associate managing editor, ultimately heading the sports and business sections of the paper. He went on to become the head editor of the Indianapolis Star, Orlando Sentinel and the Baltimore Sun before taking his position at Bloomberg News.
“You all are going to have a very different path, a different set of obstacles than I did,” said Franklin. “You are at the waters edge of a historic transition in the media business.”
Franklin spoke about how new technologies are completely changing the way media is constructed.
“Today’s media world is very deadline driven,” said Franklin. “Literally every nanosecond counts.
“D.C. is the ultimate competitive, Darwinian news environment. It’s exciting, but you have to be fast, and you have to be accurate,” said Franklin, “and sometimes these come into conflict.”
Franklin also stressed the importance of digital media skills in journalists.
“Digital media is critical,” said Franklin.
“You all know what v-logging is? You know this term?” Franklin asked the class. He responded to the students nods and ‘yes’s, with a relieved, “ok, good!”
Franklin also shared stories from his career in the media, describing his typical workday, which consists of many phone meetings with other editors all over the world. Franklin has also advised Attorney General Eric Holder, along with other top media professionals, discussing the role of journalism in the wake of the government’s seizure of Associated Press phone records.
Franklin closed by cautioning, but inspiring students.
“You only have one shot at this, so make it count,” said Franklin. “Try and find your inner passion, that will lead to hard work, diligence and persistence.”