Five Key Takeaways from the 2018 Jim Hayes Symposium

The Journalism Department’s third biennial Jim Hayes Symposium on October 12 focused on the many challenges confronting journalism. Kevin Riggs (Journalism, '78), senior vice president of Randall Communications, served as moderator. Five panelists wrestled with the question, “Is Journalism Broken?” in a spirited debate. Peter Hartlaub (Journalism, '93), pop culture critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, was the evening’s master of ceremonies.

By Olivia Nelson

Here are five key takeaways from the discussion:

  1. “I wouldn’t say that journalism is broken, but I would say that it is definitely challenged, and we are at a time of reckoning... I think it is going to change the trajectory of where we go as an industry.” - Cindy Carcamo (Journalism, '00), Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
  2. “Building the next generation and empowering what this country is going to look like — which is more diverse — will provide an opportunity to have stories that more reflect society and connect with society. In my view, if you don’t have diversity, you don’t have trust. You don’t have credibility. ” - Martin G. Reynolds, Co-Executive Director of the Maynard Institute and Director of Reveal Investigative Fellowships
  3. “Journalism will endure, but it will endure in different ways. You may not recognize the jobs that journalists have in 25 or 50 years, but they will have jobs, because they are very important. It may be frustrating to journalists, but it will evolve.” - David Rothschild, economist at Microsoft Research NYC
  4. “Journalism has to decide if we want to be a commodity or a catalyst — something that’s sold or something that is an impetus for change.” - Jan Schaffer, Ombudsman for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
  5. “The idea of what objectivity means is shifting in a way that will encourage more women and people of color to join this industry. I don’t have a ‘black woman suit’ that I unzip when I come into the office; it’s part of my identity, it’s what I bring to work every day, and it has value and meaning.” - Lauren Williams, Editor-In-Chief of Vox

The Jim Hayes Symposium is made possible by the continued support of SAGE Publishing and by contributions of alumni and friends to the Journalism Endowment. Additional sponsors are the CSU Entertainment Alliance; Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts, Career Services, and Political Science Department; San Luis Obispo Tribune; and New Times.

View a video and a Flickr slideshow of the symposium. Photos are courtesy of Alan Halfhill (Journalism, '77). 


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