Savidge for America in Broadsheet!

Savidge for America made his print journalist debut today, with a column on internet media in the San Francisco Chronicle. In case you missed it on page B11, I’ve reproduced it in copy-and-paste glory below:

E-Mail is the New Wire Service

What’s the new what? For political junkies like me, my news consumption is a lot different from old- media consumers like my parents. Let me explain.

My dad and I start every morning with the same routine. We roll out of our beds (though he does so at 6 a.m., and I usually wake around 11 a.m.), we shower, we make bowls of cereal, and we read the newspaper. But whereas he unfolds page after page of traditional broadsheet from The Chronicle and New York Times, I simply open up the daily e-mails I’ve signed up to receive from news agencies.

Reuters, Politico, the Washington Post – they’re all there waiting for me, so there’s no need to wait for the next day’s paper or for a headlines update on TV. Thanks to new technology like e-mail alerts, RSS feeds and podcasts, I’ve got a whole newsroom in my computer so I can get all the political news I want and need. By the end of the day, I’ll get information from the traditional sources – the Post, NPR, ESPN, CNN – without using the traditional mediums of print, radio and TV.

As a student, I’ve taken these lessons to heart, and used my experience as a new media connoisseur to make my reporting more accessible to young consumers like me. Next week, I will report for Youth Radio at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Whereas, 20 years ago, I would have walked around the Pepsi Center with a notepad and paper, I’m covering this event in a way that blends traditional and new forms of media.

Sure, I’ll be up all night writing and editing stories that are perfectly capable of conveying news. But I’ll also use the capabilities of new media by live blogging from the convention floor and posting candid video of the event on YouTube. I won’t have to wait for an air time or the next day’s paper to come out: once I click “publish” on my blog, the information is out there for people to see.

All the hierarchy set up in traditional media is gone on the Internet. NBC News posts to the same Internet as a blogger with no formal training in journalism. When I search on YouTube, I’m just as likely to find a video from the Asssociated Press as I am to find one from some kid with a Webcam. Walking around the Democratic Convention floor, I’ll see the titans of TV news pursuing stories alongside bloggers and the writers on the cutting edge of new media.

Even though I hope to eventually work as a journalist in the traditional media, I like the endless possibilities and immediacy of self-publishing blogs, videos, etc. Sure, I struggle to get 10 hits a day on what I write or post, but I’m honing my online journalism skills and getting ready to be the one filling content in the inboxes of other political junkies.

What’s the New What?

It’s a Youth Radio series that explores how youth culture is transforming identity, industry, politics and society. Each installment introduces a simple provocation to define new trends. Youth Radio is a youth-driven production company.

©2008 Youth Radio, Oakland Nicholas “Nico” Savidge-Wilkins, 17, is a reporter for Youth Radio. He will be posting from the Democratic National Convention next week on his blog, “Savidge for America,” at


One Response

  1. The full impact of text messaging is yet to be seen. The Obama people have a massive database by which their supporters can be reached on election day. It’s not the same as the old-fashioned phone campaigns turning out voters, but the impact can be truly massive if it’s done right.

    Some time between now and then there some be some preparation. I can imagine “ring tones” that are really political ads which would violate the rules of most states’ voting protocols. “No campaigning (signs, stickers, buttons, teeshirts, etc,) (audio advertisements? Hmmm??) within a certain distance of the voting areas.” Too much of that could backfire if precautions are not made ahead of time.

    This is the most exciting election in modern history.

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