I spent a few hours Tuesday afternoon talking to San Francisco State University students who were taking attending Lisa Rein's class, "Introduction to Broadcast News and Electronic Media." I met Lisa in 2006 at Vloggercon when she got up onstage at San Francisco's Swedish American Hall and started laying into a lawyer's FUD-dy duddyness during a copyright panel. I filmed a bit of her speech, and somehow got the video to her afterward. I got to back her on some Bay Area gigs playing some of her songs from late 2009 to the middle of 2012.
I wish I'd remembered to bring up algorithms and #Ferguson, but I had lots of fun talking about my job, its duties, the tools I use and like, and my take on journalism, impressions of social media and its utility to students. I'm pretty sure we got to Net Neutrality, tweeting journalists and editors, and certain kinds of corporate journalism. I even went through a few of my Storifys.
At some point, I started preaching after a student asked me what was the point of taking extra care if the world was as intractably messed up as it appeared to be. I told him that even if it was all pointless (given global warming, institutional corruption, etc.), I believed what I'd learned and am still learning: In the face of extremity, everyone still have moral obligations as communicators, as consumers and disseminators of information, to commit acts of journalism founded in ethical codes and moral behaviors, in service to communities of affiliation and interest. Those acts are the vig on our attention spans. Otherwise, there's no point in getting out of bed.