December 17, 2009

Transitioning to a digital news world

Transitioning from a print to a digital news world from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaIf I were starting out in journalism today, I’d probably opt to work for a Web-based publication — or start my own — rather than learn the ropes at a newspaper. Because those ropes are becoming increasingly frayed.

We’ve been checking in periodically with young people in the journalism field to get their take on how they’re dealing with the enormous changes taking place in the mediasphere.

One such person who immediately impressed me is Sharon Vaknin, a student at San Francisco State University journalism-logoand a producer/gadget guru at CBS Interactive’s She discusses her entry into journalism, broadcasting and the news business in this 6-minute video interview shot at a busy intersection in San Francisco.

Sharon says she’s “not really worried about” the future of the news business. “Web 2.0 has given us the opportunity to be more collaborative,” she says. “Because online is so collaborative right now, news will never disappear.”

She points to innovative programs like the New Media Lab and Visioning Summit as helping in the transition between traditional print journalism and its digital future.

Watch, download or embed the video on Vimeo

Sharon is one of the producers we hired for the project. We have our first meeting as a group tomorrow to help steer the project forward, and we’ll be brainstorming over the next 9 to 12 months to see what comes out of this experiment. Sharon’s roles will include brainstorming with us over the year year on how to effectively use social media, video and citizen media, facilitating conversations with the community about the participating nonprofits’ causes, and producing media.

All in all, I was struck by Sharon’s confidence in being able to navigate the transition to a digital news world and look forward to working with her as we figure this out collaboratively.


The new journalist in the age of social media (

YouTube’s role in citizen journalism (

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JD Lasica, founder of, is now co-founder of the cruise discovery engine Cruiseable. See his About page, contact JD or follow him on Twitter or Google Plus.

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4 thoughts on “Transitioning to a digital news world

  1. Great interview vlog. I liked not only the enthusiasm Sharon shows for living through the current age of confusion but her positive belief that — of course — everything will work out.

    This is exactly the right attitude. We all should keep stoking it.

    P.S. Please let me work in San Francisco with you. Miss those hilly city streets.

    • Thanks, Ellen. I'm sure I'll learn a lot from Sharon during this project. Her enthusiasm is contagious.

      And sorry, Sharon, for some of the slightly-out-of-focus shot, I had the camcorder set to auto-focus.