Create or Die: Pre Conference Conversation Summary

Submitted by cfields@langhum… on Tue, 06/01/2010 – 8:21am

Session Reporter: Cheryl Fields

Conversationalist 1: Cheryl D. Fields

Conversationalist 2: Brian Steffans

Brian Steffans is a problem solver. He’s had a long and exciting career in newspapers and magazines, having worked as a reporter, photographer, editor and media manager. He’s trained journalists in the US and abroad, has worked for several trade associations and even served a short stint with the New Directions for News media think tank. His commitment to and enthusiasm for journalism was apparent throughout our conversation.  I’m sure this passion serves him well in his current position as the executive director of NNA, where he advises and advocates for dozens of small and middle market local papers, many of which are still family owned.  Brian is constantly in the hunt for innovation and enjoys getting his hands dirty. “I value trying to move toward whatever’s next,” he said. “I like the challenge of building something different, changing something.”

I can’t say that anything about our conversation surprised me, but I enjoyed talking to someone who has been able to survive the changes of the profession while remaining so open, flexible and welcoming to change. He has this idea that in the ever-more-digitized future, journalists will serve as content “facilitators,” curating user input and mixing that with professional reporting. I look forward to continuing that part of our discussion.

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