Jim’s daughter Sammie is back on the show this week with some updates, her thoughts on Northwest Missouri State still using printed papers for distribution, cable news outlets and how she sees podcasting shaping news for the future. I think you will enjoy the show.
Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at http://theAverageGuy.tv/hgg425
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Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, Sammie Collison, Samantha Collison, News, Journalists, Journalism, Read, Writing, Story, Paper, Newspaper, Sources, Facts, Ethics
Jim Collison [0:00]
This is the Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks show number 425 recorded on November 29, 2019.
Jim Collison [0:22]
Here on Home Gadget Geeks we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation. All for the average tech guy. I’m your host Jim Collison broadcasting live from the average guy TV Studios, not on a Thursday but on a Friday. I don’t know Sammy, I don’t know if I’ve ever done a Friday maybe I have in the nine years we’ve been doing podcast here but we are here tonight because Thanksgiving us holiday this year and I guess every year it’s a US holiday. And we wanted to get clear but Sammy was home and we talked about lead had of course my daughter Samantha is on and we’d had her on Last summer, I guess right early in the summer was when it was that the last May or June, right? You were just got home from school. And I’m trying to talk her into starting a podcast and but allegedly she’s become a professional podcast guest Sammy, how did that happen?
Sammie Collison [1:16]
I wanted to start a podcast for a while. I don’t know exactly what I want to do, what about and so I was like, maybe I’ll just get some experience dabbling and other things. So I guested on Home Gadget Geeks, and really loved that. And then when I got back to school, one of the people who works for the university has a podcast called Northwest connection. And he asked me to be on it. And so I recorded on that. And then two of my co workers started news podcast called the loop and they were like Sammy, you should be on this week. So and now I’m back on Home Gadget Geeks. So this has just become my gig I guess. Yeah, like three podcasts in the past month. And I’m down to guest until I figure out what I want my podcast to be about so I can host
Jim Collison [1:58]
Just guesting on a podcast. Super easy. I every Saturday, I just you just show up every Saturday morning, ask the podcast coach with Dave Jackson. I get to show up 930 Central. We’re alive. I do a little bit of prep. But really Dave carries his show. And it’s super great to be able to do that. So glad we could have you back on. We talked about this. Oh, last time you were home. I was like, Hey, we got to have you back during that break. Don’t want to do it on Thursday. Maybe we could do it on Friday. And you said yes. And I just picked the time I thought well for sounds pretty good. Maybe for the folks that are off work. Yeah, well, I needed to get the processing done early off to London tomorrow, tomorrow afternoon and I the processing of this, I normally take a day and a half to get it done. So I’m going to be cramming this together. You don’t care because you’re already listening to it and you it made it into the feed. But some work to do of course will post show this show is show notes this week. And the show notes will primarily be 99%. Just the transcription. So if you want to head out there, the average guy TV slash hgG four to five couple ways to connect with us if you haven’t done that already. You can connect with us and our discord go to the average guy TV slash discord if you want to do our Facebook group, the average guy TV slash Facebook, if you want to download the mobile app if you want to listen to us on the road, maybe the easiest way to find this every single week, Home Gadget Geeks com and there’s two big buttons Android iPhone, maybe not even in that order. But they’re available there for you. You can download them, they’re free. And you can get access to the show. I like I said, You don’t you don’t download. They’re all streaming all the time. So you have to have connectivity. But the best way to listen live, Sammy, we wouldn’t have you back on I wanted to ask you three questions tonight. One about print one about cable and one about podcasting and journalism. So we kind of cue that up just for folks that are listening. There will be some text sprinkled in but with sammys background and her studying journalism at Northwest Missouri State and me paying a lot of money to have her that she’s paying Some of it too. So
Sammie Collison [4:00]
in a fair amount,
Jim Collison [4:01]
to be fair to be fair, but proportionately you’re probably paying more than I am when we think about your income versus mine. So yeah, well, we’ll just we’ll kind of leave that there. But I want to get started. We last time you were on the show, we talked a little bit about technology that you use in school. And I thought this time it might be really, really interesting news is in a really interesting place here in the United States, like Gallup has a brand new podcast that I hope that I’m kind of the executive producer for called out of the echo chamber and we we partner with the Knight Foundation, with this idea of bringing some trust back to news because it has taken it so hard on the chin. Do you as a student? Do you feel that that kind of that assault on news?
Sammie Collison [4:46]
I do not as much as I would if I was in a mainstream news organization, but we do feel it we. We had an incident last year where somebody on Twitter was calling us fake news. Even though we were right You know how it is? Yeah, but yeah, it’s you, especially the closer you get to graduation, you feel the pressure and the hostility towards the industry and you’re like, Am I going to get a job? If I get a job? Are people gonna hate me? Like a lot of people think that because journalism is kind of in the public eye that like people are doing it for fame. And we’re like, No, we know that more people are going to dislike us that are gonna like us, like we get more mean comments, the nice comments, when we talk
Jim Collison [5:27]
about when we talk about podcasting, I’m going to ask you about because there is this idea of newser tainment which, right, where people are kind of going in and taking the news and making entertainment out of it. I think most of our evening, you know, tonight, the tonight show and some of those kinds of things. kobir and those guys, they’ve kind of become Newser. tainment, right. They’re just they kind of cover the news, but they joke and you don’t know, like, what’s real and what’s not and they kind of stretch it right. So I want it so as we get to this idea of podcasting here at the end, The show I can I’m gonna I’m gonna hit you hard on that one because I think you’ve done it. Well, let’s save it for the end, I first want to ask it the name of the paper. So you you actually the school you have a print version of the paper that is you guys write for the school, but it gets distributed pretty wide. Why still on paper like it’s 2019 I would have thought by now like paper would have gone the way of the dinosaur. And are you guys watching that at all to see what kind of circulation numbers you have or talk a little bit about why you’re still stuck doing stuff on paper?
Sammie Collison [6:34]
Yeah. So, a lot of newspapers have died, because of the because of industry side of things. local papers have been bought up by large companies and then consolidated. Basically, the companies that buy the newspapers will milk them for all their worth and then sell their usually these buildings that these newspapers are housed in our like some of the oldest buildings in town in their prime real estate in downtown areas. So the companies will milk the paper for all it’s worth, kill the paper and then sell the building for profit. And that’s how they make their profit off of buying these.
Jim Collison [7:07]
I never thought I never thought of the real estate. And
Sammie Collison [7:11]
we talked about it a lot in our journalism classes, that these larger companies are consolidating down local newspapers, but campus newspapers have kind of been able to survive because we’re free. Most campus newspapers are in so we between advertising revenue from the paper itself, and also we put out twice a year we put out the homecoming guide and the cats Guide, which are more advertising and content. And through some leftover yearbook revenue, if we don’t break even were able to break even and put out a free paper, and then through donors and the university were able to pay our staff. And so because we don’t want our competition paper is paid.
Jim Collison [7:53]
And we also have students in a localized area that were able to easily distribute to Italy Almost easier to reach them by physically putting a paper in their face. Yeah, then by putting it in their, their news feeds, which you guys do on campus, right? You’re pretty aggressive about getting the paper out physically, physically taking it out and handing to people. What kind of response? What kind of response to get from the student body, when you’re handing it out of there pretty open to it? Are they? Some who pick it up and immediately throw it in the trash? I mean, what kind of what kind of response Do you get as you’re handing it out?
Sammie Collison [8:26]
We get those for sure people who just take it because this overpressure of us standing in the Student Union, giving them to them, and then immediately put it in the recycle because we’re green campus. But we there are students who read it pretty religiously, like I went to the station, which is kind of like it’s like a conference center slash like small restaurant and convenience store and campus. And I went to pick up a package. And the girl at the front desk, saw my name on my card and was like, Oh, do you write for the newspaper? And I was like, Yeah, she’s like, Oh, I read it. Every week. I read it for the blotters, which is what the police reports, but I get distracted by the news. So there are people who genuinely will like read it every week whether it’s just to read the bladders and do the Sudoku but especially people in like Student Government read it pretty religiously and staff and faculty read it a lot. Yeah, and I would think whenever I’m talking to professor’s they’re like, Oh, I read that article and
Jim Collison [9:21]
you I think we’re still surprised at how many people still want and pick up a print copy during some part of thanksgiving last night we were because I’m going to London we were talking about what some common some common things in England and one of them is in the description we were talking about the English breakfast, and they said it’s proper to actually read the newspaper while you’re having breakfast. And so that that you know, I do think there are there are people do that that’s still do that. Do you find do young people Like so the the folks that you go to school with you ever see anybody reading the paper at, like in the dining facility or, you know, in that kind of scenario you ever catch anybody actually reading it?
Sammie Collison [10:11]
Yeah. And I think what helps is that it’s free. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody like reading the Maryville forum, which is our competition paper in the city that’s you have to pay a subscription for. But yeah, I do see people reading it. And one of the things that I’ve been thinking about and like putting the pieces together is I think a lot about decision fatigue, because that affects me a lot when it gets to the end of the day. And it’s like, what do you want to eat for dinner? I’m like, I’ve made so many decisions today. I don’t want to make another decision. I think the nice thing about a physical newspaper is it curates the news for you. You know what’s important, and it’s in this little 12 page thing, and you in it tells you, you It’s literally ranked by importance. And so you The further you read, the less important the news gets. And so if you just read, like the first paragraph of every story or you just read the stories on the front page, You’re going to get the most important stuff. And so it takes away all those choices of like scrolling through your Twitter feed and trying to decide what’s Bs and what is actually important, and what’s not going to matter. 24 hours from now, you can just pick up the physical thing and it’s like, here’s what you need to know. It’s like thank you for making these decisions for me and curating this for me. I appreciate it.
Jim Collison [11:21]
As a YouTuber, one of the things I don’t ask enough is that people actually put comments in the YouTube in the comment section. If you’re watching this on YouTube, whenever live or even after the fact, love to know if you read the local paper. So down in the comments down there, hit hit the thumbs up and subscribe. I have to say that you’re obligated to say that anytime you talk about you. And then let me know in the comments what you what you read in Sammy, whether that’s print or electronic. You guys also do an electronic version. Yeah, and I’ve watched that kind of change your workflow a little bit this year as you guys have made a switch from in priorities in Maybe you can talk a little bit about that. How do you guys approach the online version? And what kind of readership versus now prints handed out? But do you have any idea on the difference in readership between the online and the print version?
Sammie Collison [12:12]
I don’t look at those stats as much. The thing we kind of switched over this year, we got a lot of new leadership, we got a new editor in chief and managing editor obviously, me and Kendrick, my co editor moved to the new section, editor positions. And so we’ve been taking a more we’ve been trying to take them more online first approach, where we put either a full story or part of the story online within 24 hours of especially event coverage, and then a full story or a story with more visuals in the physical paper. And so the physical paper is more like a curated here’s the best of our online coverage from the week. We’ve been trying to take more of that approach to draw people to our website. And I also get to see more of the website because as the news editor who has the availability on Wednesdays, I put most of our stuff on the website and I write social media posts for the news section. And so I’m on that backside comparing those things. I think our sports section gets more online readership. Usually at the end of the week, when we do critique. Our web manager will read out some stats, and usually the top stories on the website or sports things, because those guys are turning around so many stories within 24 hours of a sports event happening. It’s so hard to write sports for a weekly newspaper, because so many things are old, like it’s going to change tomorrow because they’re playing a game tomorrow. Yeah, but yeah, there’s a lot of really good online coverage.
Jim Collison [13:39]
Northwest has a really good football program. And so there’s a lot of basketball program and a good and a very good basketball program. So there’s a lot of good news to write about, right it’s but did your deadlines change when you move from from print first and some online in other words, you know, with print, you’re building up to a certain day and then it’s going and it’s you know, What’s printing and where is online? You could post anytime did that? Did that change your deadlines? And how are you managing those? With with technology? How are you guys managing those deadlines?
Sammie Collison [14:10]
I think the the mindset changes from writing multiple stories at the same time to focusing on one story at a time is more the way. So if I go to a student senate debate, hosted debate on like a Wednesday night, I’m thinking about that story for the next 24 hours. And post like writing it either let that night or the next morning, it goes to the edits process. And then I put it online and on social that next evening, and then I’m thinking about the next story that has the next deadline. So rather than working on like three stories simultaneously, with a deadline on like Monday or Tuesday, I’m writing a story and then putting it up and then writing a story and then putting it up, etc, etc, etc. And we were still trying to find a way to manage those individual deadlines. Mostly, we just, like manage them with our staff in our Slack channel. But we use Trello generally to manage putting things to the Edit process. But mostly we have to message people. When a story is done, we just send it to the editors chat and be like Yo, the stories ready for edits, watch the trailer board.
Jim Collison [15:20]
That turning that out the Trello board, pretty important for you guys.
Sammie Collison [15:24]
Yeah, we started doing that last year. And it has changed the way that we knew. Because everybody it’s not like everybody’s like hangs out in the newsroom all the time. And we like physically talk to each other, like everybody’s on the go all the time. And so having something digital that you can upload Google Drive files to is super helpful.
Jim Collison [15:40]
Do you have your slack notifications turned on for everything then that way if they need to get ahold of you, they do it that way or
Sammie Collison [15:47]
slack is on all the time.
Jim Collison [15:50]
So do you find you know, I mean, the news being digital first is not I mean that a lot of the big papers switched over, as That, you know, decade ago, five five years ago. Do you guys feel like that’s behind or does it in you know, your small town Maryville are? Is that work for for What’s there? Or do you need to push even harder to be more digital?
Sammie Collison [16:17]
I think we could be more digital than we are. But it’s also, there’s also something to be said about being the best rather than being first. Especially when you’re in a small town where there’s not a lot of competition for news. You just want to, like people are going to be impatient, but like they. One thing that’s happened a lot in mainstream news is they have an attitude of it doesn’t matter if you’re right. It matters if we’re first. And I hate that and I think that’s the wrong way to go. I strongly think that that is the wrong way to go. And that’s going to cause news quality to crash and burn. Like it doesn’t matter if somebody has to wait two more hours to see what actually happened. If they find out what actually happened. is what people are speculating happy. Yeah,
Jim Collison [17:01]
I want to talk
Sammie Collison [17:02]
about watch live political stuff going on on Twitter because I’m like, it’s all. It’s all talk. Nobody knows what is actually happening. gotta wait until two hours later when somebody has written a thing about it and like done all the work for you of finding out the truth and consolidating it.
Jim Collison [17:19]
Yeah, I want to save that because I want to talk a little bit about that towards the end. I want to talk a little bit about podcasting. I also wanted to talk about the kind of the current state of cable news in in today I’ll today where if you just listen to the audio, you missed a great face. And the cable news space, which really began, you know, probably 30 or 35 years ago, has really gotten interesting in air quotes over the over the last even interesting. Yeah, over the last 10 years. Talk a little bit about I mean, how do you feel about the cable news space, not print They do some wacky things at times. Talk a little bit about how you feel about the cable, the cable space.
Sammie Collison [18:06]
I openly hate Cable News. I’m just going to be real about that. And we, I mean, if I’m being 100% honest, I think that cable news has ruined news, because it’s most of it is not news. With with the advent of CNN was the first to 24 hour news show. Rather than they need something to fill that time. Like there’s not as much news as you would think even with a country of news, there’s not as much that people are going to care about. And so they’re playing a game of attention. And rather than just being like, here’s the facts. Here’s what happened. Here’s details. Here’s context. That’s it. They’re bringing, they’re bringing about more news commentary and political commentary, especially once equal time laws went away. You can well the the loophole around equal time lies was that political commentary doesn’t count. That’s complicated. But yeah, the more it’s less news and more news commentary and more opinions, and you have the rise of people who are professional pundits who just talk about their opinions all day long regardless and they never change they never have the the ability to change their viewpoints because they’re paid to have this one view and keep that view forever regardless of whether the and just conform facts to it rather than conforming their opinion to facts. I just openly despise it and I think that people deserve people.
Sammie Collison [19:36]
How do I phrase this
Jim Collison [19:38]
Jim Collison [19:42]
You may be quoted 10 years from now on this but yeah, whatever.
Sammie Collison [19:47]
Sammie Collison [19:48]
you know, it goes through some cells to have a little patience and
Sammie Collison [19:56]
inexperienced Just wait a little bit to get something called
Jim Collison [20:01]
Well, I think that speaks to the the overall state of social today, which is we jump, you know, we jumped to the quickest conclusion and it’s usually a negative one, and then we blast back and it creates the messy than relationship instead of saying, is that what you really meant to say? I mean, so much negativity on social could be stopped by someone just waiting for a second and saying, and I’m guilty of this too. But I’m saying that what you really meant to say like, Did you really mean to say it that way, as opposed to just taking the natural, you know, negativity to it? I think it’s a lot. It’s all it’s really what’s wrong with YouTube and YouTube commenting and talked a little bit earlier about leaving a comment here. YouTube commenting is some of the worst that I’ve seen out there that I’ve experienced. But I appreciate you know, in the world of very fast moving news, especially like on Twitter. It’s easy to kind of read Act super fast without reading into any or knowing any of the details behind it. I’m what’s always surprised me about you is that as you’ve gotten into journalism, and you’ve done this as you’ve been a big advocate for the truth, and not necessarily like, you know, your political leanings are different than mine. Right?
Sammie Collison [21:22]
Like I have political leanings feelings. I just don’t share them publicly because that’s not my job.
Jim Collison [21:27]
Yeah, no, no. And that’s in that area that I talked about where we haven’t you know, newser tainment where it where it’s, people are definitely bringing their political views into their news reporting. How do you How are you able to keep those things separate? I mean, it can’t be easy, right.
Sammie Collison [21:48]
I keep it separate. I have a I have, like personal social media and lesser known platforms, that is not attached to my name or my face where I can air my thoughts. Just to Shout into the void because we, as humans have a need to show to the void. But my whole philosophy is that my opinions are based on the facts that I’m purview to. And that those things that I truly believe as a human being and like on a human level, I want other people to believe. I trust that if they know the same facts that I do, hopefully, they will draw the same conclusions that I have. Because that’s where my stuff comes from, in my cultural context might be different than yours. But if you if you are fueled by the right facts, you will hopefully draw factual and an unhelpful opinion. Well, I think draw opinions is the key phrase in there and that we all need to work on that and not necessarily grind people till they till they, you know, follow our own opinions. When we’re talking about cable. When I watch Cable News Network today, I feel like it’s one story over and over Yeah, and that’s the thing that he does still time. And so things that don’t really matter, or matter a little bit, get blown out of proportion, because they’re like, well, we don’t have anything else to talk about. nothing’s really happening today. Let’s blow out of proportion. This one thing this one random state senator said, that’s kind of outrageous out of context and argue about it for an hour, because we have to fill air time because we have 24 hours.
Jim Collison [23:22]
I know, I think it’s sloppy and lazy, by the way to do it that way. There’s so many good things. Okay. Just right off the top. There’s so many great things going on in the world that could be covered. Like that’s true. Why can’t Why can’t they cover good things as well, right. There’s a bias towards bad things in news because it’s what sells Right. Yeah. But also there’s a lot of things going on around the world that that are newsworthy, that just aren’t covered. I imagine it’s it’s, I hate to say lazy, maybe it’s just the the amount of staffing that they have not able to cover that many things. I mean, there’s just a lot of interesting things going on around the globe, right?
Sammie Collison [23:58]
Yeah, a lot of Lot of newspapers have had to cut down their international bureaus in the news world we call different, like departments, they’re called bureaus. And so you have like the the, the EU Bureau and you have like the Middle East Bureau, or like the Australia Bureau, especially at like places like the New York Times and The Washington Post. But those who have gotten cut down and things like copy editors, and fact checkers, and staff that are seen as potential have gotten cut down due to lack of funding. And so there’s just not as many people to go out and find the things that people are already outraged about. It’s easier just to follow the outrage stream.
Jim Collison [24:40]
Yeah, well, and right now in the United States, that’s an easy, that’s an easy target. So with the current political climate, it’s pretty easy to just fall into that and run with it. You don’t have to work very hard to find crazy things to, to, you know, to necessarily report on. What do you think speculate for me a little bit. What do you think the future of broadcast and cable news is where 1015 years from now your generation? What it’s Listen, it’s my generation that made cable news what it is. And it’s my parents who watch it. And and maybe some of my generation Do you find among your peers? Do they have the same distain? And will will cable news need to change and adapt to reach the the younger millennials and then Gen Z to to to rectify that or what do you think? What’s the future?
Sammie Collison [25:34]
I mean, long term, I think cable news is going to die with cable because the only thing keeping TV itself alive right now is sports. That’s the only reason anybody buys a TV package anymore in my generation. Because everything that’s worth watching, you can watch on demand on demand with streaming, it’s not worth going out of their way to buy a cable package or get a physical TV connection. I think in I mean, I live I’m surrounded by journalists and broadcast majors all day and we all kind of have the disdain for cable news. I don’t know about the people outside of our department, I guess I need to ask around more when I’m talking to people that are in my gen ed classes, especially my policy friends that I hang out with a lot because I want to hear their opinions. But I hope that we see through the BS of it all. I that’s my that’s what I hope for us. I don’t know if all of us do especially in rural communities where that’s all that is available to consume, or they just learned from their parents and not people outside of their small sphere. They live in small, small towns. That’s what I see in Maryville because so many people that go to Northwest are from really small towns, but I hope that people can see through the garbage.
Jim Collison [26:50]
In a perfect world where you could kind of, you know, you could kind of direct how news is delivered and consumed by people. And as a journalist, where do you think what would be a healthy, you know, news economy? For people? How would you it using all current technology that’s out there today? How do you think you would design the consumption model for people so they’d get fairly accurate. I sound like Fox, but, you know, it’s always the conservatives to say that. How would I how would I deliver news and in a way that you think would would help? Instead of it being kind of a circus,
Sammie Collison [27:35]
I think it would be a more multimedia approach to what current web news looks like. But what as a news consumer, My dream is to have some sort of like, the way that streaming services are arranged, but for news, so you can consume multiple news sources in the same space because the way that the way That new subscriptions work is you get a subscription to like the New York Times or The Washington Post or to your local newspaper, and you’re trusting that one newspaper, when really the ideal way to consume news is to get multiple perspectives. So that way things can reinforce the fact can reinforce each other. And the things that are speculation or are not as accurate will fall through the cracks. And you can say three sources said this thing, it must be true, because they all have their independent fact checking. And so it’d be nice to have somewhere where you can be like, here’s the types of news that I’m interested in, give me stories about this thing. Or you could be like, give me news from these sources on like an app. And I can just be like, I want to read about what people are writing about impeachment today. Give me New York Times, Washington Post, like another like what my local news is writing about it in every section kind of better curation of the news. Yeah, that would be ideal because like, I want it. I listened to her I consume news from three main sources, NPR, New York Times and Washington Post. And I’m like, I wish I could get all of their print stuff in the same spot. That would be nice.
Jim Collison [29:14]
Yeah, and with some of the
Sammie Collison [29:16]
people that take that idea and run with it,
Jim Collison [29:18]
I think in the early days of RSS that you might have had that capability. Many of the new sources have gone to a paid firewall or, you know, paywall or for doing Yeah, no, they need to, they need to they need to survive, right, they need to get that done. But it does kind of create a walled garden and make it makes it more difficult. I think 10 years ago, that was actually easier to get that unified news source than it is today. It’s it’s kind of messy out there. There’s things that are blocked and RSS is not really that nobody’s taking this seriously. The RSS readers are kind of fallen by the wayside. Every buddy’s kind of gone to their own walled garden so to speak, they want to become I’m because most news organizations think they are that don’t you think that they, they kind of think well, why would you want to go anywhere else? We have all the truth that you know, are all the news that is there shouldn’t use that word truth but because it’s all relative, but the you know, the idea of we have what you need. It seems like we’ve moved away from that not gotten better at it, don’t you think?
Sammie Collison [30:31]
Yeah. And it’s like, even as a news writer, I want to say we have we know everything that you need to know. But as a as a news consumer. I’m like, I want to hear more things. I want to hear at least two perspectives.
Jim Collison [30:45]
Yeah, well, and talk about for a second when you think about your reporting and what you do, and maybe not everybody kind of thinks about these premises of journalism like this is different than podcasting. Like when I get on here, and I I might have looked at something, it’s my own personal experience. I’m speaking on behalf of me. Journalism, when you’re really doing it’s a little bit different talk about what do you what are some of the things that you hold to to make sure because I don’t think everybody realizes there are some, there are some premises, right you number of sources, those kinds of things. When you think about what is news?
Sammie Collison [31:24]
Yeah, so we will obviously there’s, if you want to just google the SPG code of ethics. With that said, that’s the temple that holds up what we do when it comes to ethics. But in terms of process, our standards at our paper are, ideally, minimum three sources, three people sources per story. And for everything, even if we’re just like talking about like the administration, changed this policy. We not only talked to the administrators who made that policy, we talked to the people who would effects in the thing that one of my professors Jason off at all, he says is fine, too. It hurts. Oh, hey, there’s a code of ethics boom, report it. But I have a copy of that in my binder that I look at every now and again, whenever we’re trying to make ethics decisions on what to print, or whether to include a quote or not, or things like that. That’s a good reference for all journalists. But yeah, we, we we try to find who not just who’s causing the news, but who the news effects and how they feel about it. And anytime we’re reporting on anything remotely political, we say we have to have at least two sides. And so I have really close relationships with the leadership in our political groups on campus, college Democrats and Republicans, and also the people who are in the kind of now dissolved group, no labels. But I still kind of know who the who the independent voters are who the people who consider themselves outside of left and right wing politics. I know who They are and I know. And I asked them about how they feel about political things whenever we write about them, because it doesn’t, because we want to represent as many sides as possible. Basically, my opinions and my feelings go in a box when I’m reporting and they go under my desk. And I’m just like consuming what other people are thinking and feeling. And I’ll just sometimes I’ll sit around campus and I’ll just listen to people talk. I joke that us dropping is one of the five pillars of my personality. But it’s also helpful to my job, because it’s easy when you’re a journalist, especially in college to get cooped up in your little newsroom. And just stay in your little, your little bubble of like media, literate people, whatever that means, these days, and just what we’re thinking and feeling rather than just like going out and sitting in the Starbucks at some library and listening to what people care about. Because sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of that.
Jim Collison [33:58]
Do you think
Jim Collison [34:00]
You know, when we think about that, so as as, as blogging and podcasting became popular 10 years ago, a lot of people gravitated to it that and in those in particular that were gravitating maybe towards, I don’t want to say news, but they were talking about things, but I can I’m sure they didn’t have the code of ethics, the the SP j, which stands for Society of Professional Journalists, by the way. I’m sure they didn’t have that in mind. Do you see that as a problem because they’re in media, some of them are getting popular. Some of them are talking about news, they’re talking about things that are going on, but they’re not held necessarily to any standards. Is that is that a problem that that or or is that just free speech?
Sammie Collison [34:56]
It is allowed, but it is it is a consumers responsible. To take everything that’s with a grain of salt, I mean, a lot of like, in France, all journalists have to be licensed. Like you have to, you have to pass a test in order to be a journalist, you can’t be a citizen journalist. And citizen journalists are important to what we do you never know when somebody is going to submit a video to your local news station that could break a story wide open, like those people are really important. And I like that in the US, anybody can be a journalist. But it is important to take with a grain of salt things that are written by people who don’t hold themselves to any sort of how do you know the objective standard? How do you Well, I mean, if somebody is working for a mainstream newspaper or news outlet than that something that they’re taught, if they have a degree in journalism, they for sure have read the SPG code of ethics multiple times. They’ve taken media literacy classes. But in the end, I guess you got to develop a gut like I trust my gut more than I trust anybody.
Sammie Collison [35:58]
And I I read a lot lot, read widely read broadly.
Sammie Collison [36:05]
But it is hard. It’s hard in this day and age to know what to trust. But yeah, it isn’t. I think it’s more important than anything to have something objective because when you’re just a blogger, you’re in you’re not beholden to anything that’s concrete. You’re, you’re just following what your viewers want. And that’s how you get outreach cycles. But with us, we’re we’re thinking about what our viewers want, are those our readers want to read, and what they want to listen to, sometimes we do sometimes we do multimedia content. But at the end of the day, the way that we write, we’re thinking about it in an objective sense. We’re not thinking about what they want to hear, or what’s gonna, yeah, we we want people to read the news, not because we’re tailoring it to what’s going to make people the most upset or make people care the most. We’re hoping that they care because of Important.
Sammie Collison [37:02]
Well, maybe a little
Sammie Collison [37:04]
idealistic, but it’s what we hope
Jim Collison [37:07]
one of the pillars right. It’s minimize harm. Yes. In this code of ethics. Right. And and I think we’ve we’ve maybe we’ve lost a little bit of that, in in some of our reporting, we’re in, which may be the difference between what’s news and what’s an opinion. Right. And that’s been thrown around since the beginning of time. When you think about podcasting, and I think as journalism is under fire, and I really do think it’s going to be individuals who bring back trust to news all the organizations for the most part, unless the the organization is really clear about being actually a journalist, you know, journalistic so to speak and holding these codes of ethics. Do you think there’s some space for podcasting, news, and otherwise You as a journalist, instead of necessarily just writing the news, but also creating non opinionated, news focused content that shares those stories, but in a way that I could listen to it. And I’m not talking about a newscast, I’m talking more of the, you know, I maybe I want to spend 35 or 40 minutes on a single topic that’s really driven from a journalistic point of view, instead of opinion point of view. Are you seeing that out there? And is that possible?
Sammie Collison [38:30]
I am, and I think there is a growing space for it. I went to three different news journalism conferences this year. And all of them I met podcasting investigative journalism teams, where they follow a story and they produce long series following one story in a podcast form. And I think that’s an amazing way to do investigative journalism. And I think podcasting in the individual works because the corporation is chasing money, the corporation’s always chasing money and that’s that’s their job. That’s what occurred. does. But the individuals they can develop a relationship and a trust with their audience and they can prove to that audience the things that they care about, and it, it creates less of a minefield of who can you trust, what can you rely on, because you can turn to that source and you can be like, I trust that person because they were right in the past. And they have that they can develop that reputation that a lot of organizations have lost because when you have one bad apple in a news department, it can poke holes in the entire departments reputation. Well, if you’re one person, it feels like it’s easier to judge that person’s integrity or a small team of people. I also think podcasting is a huge and it is becoming and will continue to become a huge way to consume what I will we refer to as traditional news, which is just more like print in audio form or interviewing journalists about what they’re writing about, rather than in like hearing the story from their mouths, rather than reading what they’ve written. That’s how I consume it. Most of my news these days on a national and international scale, I listened to three news podcasts up first by NPR, daily by New York Times. Thanks, Mike Wieger for recommending that, and Post reports by the Washington Post. And I listened to those three every weekday. And that’s how I get my, my chunk like my hour of national international news. And then obviously, I’m writing the local news. So like I know about it.
Jim Collison [40:22]
Yeah. Yeah. I, I do feel like it is a great delivery, you know, you were talking about earlier about being able to curate and if you can find trusted sources, and I do think it requires some thinking, like, I think this is we sometimes want to find the trusted source and then just kind of turn like okay, now I don’t have to think and I think we have to think more even and trusted sources to say on the other side of this is and I wonder how other people think about it and you know, be able to think critically, I’m a big fan of of radio lab, the NPR podcast. They also do the stories that they always have at the end, you know, they’re thanking the people who’ve helped me everybody’s got 15 people that do this. And they always say fact check by, blah, blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, Oh, yeah, I wonder what my life would be like, if I was actually fact checked on everything. I said, like, would I would I be a little more careful about what I said? And and how much of it would just be stuff I made up. And so I think there’s important there’s important integrity pieces, right? built into that, to make sure and it’s never 100% right. It’s hard to separate emotion and it’s hard to separate opinion. But you have to the reason the code of ethics exists is because you have to have bounce up, bounce that up against what you’re what you’re doing up against it. To measure it. How well Am I doing this? As a journalist, have you ever felt like you’ve gotten in a spot where maybe it’s gone, you’ve taken it a little too far. in the direction of opinion, versus journalism, or is that been a dividing line that you’ve been able to stay pretty close to?
Sammie Collison [42:07]
I like to think that the line I’ve held pretty close to the one thing that I have run into is when you’re in a small town or a small college campus, conflict of interest is something that we deal with a lot when you’re reporting a story because you know, that like you found the story and decide that this newsworthy because you know, the person, or whether you knowing the person that you’re interviewing beforehand compromises the integrity of your interview. It’s really hard because when you’re in a small town, you kind of get to know everybody, like by my senior year working for my high school newspaper. I knew half of the people in the senior class and so it was hard to write news and avoid conflict of interest because I’m like, this. Is that person, my friend? I mean, yeah, they’re kind of my friend. And it’s like I have to have a professional interview with them anyway, because we a staff of 13 people and like there’s nobody else to write this story. And so we you gotta run into that the further into writing in a small area you get is you have to kind of check all of your relationships. And you have to be careful with who you’re making relationships with. Because if you become like best friends with the student senate president, you could never write about students at it, because that compromises your connection with that institution. And so you don’t have a lot. That’s why people get so insular in their little newsroom bubble, is because you’re afraid to make friends with people outside of what you work with. Because you’re afraid that they’re going to need to be a source and then your integrity is going to be compromised. And I struggle with that. Because I had to give up covering a certain beat because I became friends with the president of an organization through covering it. I was like, Well, I mean, I didn’t intend for this to happen, but we’re friends now. So I gotta pass this off to somebody else because it’s not me anymore.
Jim Collison [43:55]
Now, what’s good to know it’d be it’s sometimes it’s hard to let go of those. In this case, to be It would be easy to say, Oh, well, I’ll figure it out, you know, but but you were like, no, I kind of need to move. I need to move away from that and get it done today in reporting, when you think about the technology that you absolutely need, you find lots of different ways to get things done. But today, if I were to ask you, what’s your go to tool you can’t live without right now. As a reporter, what’s that go to tool that you use?
Sammie Collison [44:28]
It’s the smartphone I talked about this last time when I was on the podcast is I can pretty much do my entire job on a smartphone. Because I record my interviews on my voice Notes app. I typed them up onto Google Docs. And then there’s a slack and a Trello app. So I can just send things off through my phone. And then I mean, theoretically, I’ve never tried to upload a story using blocks on my phone, which is our
Jim Collison [44:58]
Sammie Collison [44:59]
CMS. Content Management System. I know these things I’ve been publishing right now.
Sammie Collison [45:05]
I’ve never tried to go on my phone, but theoretically I imagined I could. And then of course, I can post it to social from my phone. And so investing in a good phone, oh, and a good camera on your phone, because then you can take pictures to accompany your story because more and more people are hiring journalists are hiring what we call mfj multimedia journalists, who are like a one man band and can do it all can write can take photos can video, you used to just have photographers, right? That was a role. And we still do but they’re becoming fewer and fewer, I think, was it Sports Illustrated, got rid of all of their staff photographers and they freelance some photographers, but mostly their writers are tasked with being photographers, which is difficult because it’s hard to write a story that like you’re like, I use still use a pen and paper whenever I go anywhere to take my notes and then I’m recording on the phone. And it’s hard to like be thinking about what you’re going to write in Making sure you get everything that everybody says. And then also finding the perfect moment to take a picture because you’re not looking up that often you’re like glancing up for a fraction of a second. And going back to writing. Unless you’re like, at some point, you have to develop the skill of writing without looking, which is what one of my professors does, he will literally be doing an interview, he’ll be making eye contact with the source the whole time. And writing at the same time Really?
Jim Collison [46:25]
is kind of creepy. Yeah, I wouldn’t know what to think about. It’d be like, Can you read it? You know, at the end,
Sammie Collison [46:33]
he has a shorthand where it’s like, a senders and descenders and then scribbles. And then he immediately after interviews would go into his car and transcribe it. Wow. That’s still fresh in his memory. It’s crazy. That is your No, sir.
Jim Collison [46:48]
Yeah, a different breed. Broadcast journalists are often now you know, they used to go out with the camera person as well. So
Sammie Collison [46:54]
now they’re their own camera crew. I know it’s tripod
Sammie Collison [46:57]
themselves up, they put it on
Sammie Collison [46:59]
a tripod And they stand in front and they
Jim Collison [47:02]
they record the news. Do you think that’s good or bad?
Sammie Collison [47:05]
I think it’s difficult. And it’s super challenging. I mean, they’re it decreases the quality to some level. But if it keeps local news stations alive, then I guess that’s how it’s gonna be.
Jim Collison [47:18]
Yeah, just from a, from a cost perspective, it is I do think news has to figure out how to pay for itself. And it’s a whole It’s a whole new world like this is
Sammie Collison [47:30]
almost, more, more terrifying than the fake news. Thing is, how are we going to continue to pay journalists?
Jim Collison [47:42]
Well, and I’m kind of wondering if you know, the Patreon model is really what In other words, I build a reputation as being someone who’s whatever, and fair, honest however you want to say that and and i Follow I mean, I think about I have some tech people that I follow that I you know, I’ve been listening to them long enough I trust their opinion they do treat it like journalism in a lot of ways. And and I would if if I needed to I would consider supporting them from a another ad supported and what they’re currently doing, but I would support them if we needed to. And I’m kind of wondering, you know, we add support, and or Patreon support podcasters and a lot of different ways. wondering, a future model of journalism isn’t more of a distributed contractor. You have a loose affiliation, and you provide news outlets, whether it’s writing or speaking, or maybe both, but you are your own brand. I don’t know just a thought. What do you think there’s a feature in that and that’s one of the reasons why the podcast model is working for the small teams is that they’re partially ad support. But they’re very greatly, Patreon supported. And so they have dedicated listeners who are like, I believe in this and I will pay you money to keep doing what you’re doing because I value this service that you provide for me. ad supported can be a little sticky because you might have an advertiser that will because they’re advertising my this. Do you see a similar stickiness? If you have Patreon support where somebody may be beholding to a another individual who is a large, you know, who could be a large donor via Patreon Do you think that could skew things?
Sammie Collison [49:36]
I think it’s possible. But I think no matter what you do, you’re getting your money from somewhere and somebody’s going to try to make you beholden to them through that money, whether it’s an advertiser supporter, and you got to do your best to not let them keep you down.
Jim Collison [49:50]
Patreon is the old actually political model. Politicians have been using the Patreon model for hundreds of years. Right. Yep. Yeah. So now journalists may need to go that same route. The the the the archenemies. Seems like politicians are journalists,
Sammie Collison [50:10]
we are the Fourth Estate. We’re supposed to be keeping those politicians accountable.
Jim Collison [50:13]
Well, it’s a good it’s a good, good and worthy cause I think, and not to be adversarial but to be accountable. Right. I think that’s
Sammie Collison [50:22]
Yeah, that’s one of the first things that you learned in your journalism classes is the concept of journalists are the Fourth Estate where the fourth member of the checks and balances system between the the three branches of government that we they keep each other, theoretically, they keep each other accountable, and then we keep all of them accountable and like the entire system accountable by watching over and being watchdogs of the government. That’s the idea.
Jim Collison [50:48]
Well, and no, no systems perfect, right. And it has it’s had varying success during different times and it still works. Sometimes, yeah. And so we’ve got I mean, the, you know, we’ve got some work to do. And it’s I when you pick journalism six years ago, when it whatever that was when you started really writing for the school paper and you started moving that direction, I was kind of I was kind of ignorant to all the stuff that goes into journalism, you know, and kind of going through this with you is really kind of taught me some things and has really kind of pulled me back even from some of the things that I do podcasting because of the responsibility. I’ve kind of feel now of like, am I creating content? Am I being fair? Now? I don’t let me ask you this question. I don’t paint myself as a journalist. But because I’m doing this am I consider that or am I let off the hook because I don’t like I don’t when i Home Gadget Geeks is not a news show. Now it has some components of it. We talk about issues we talk about You know, we we break news we do those kinds of things. If I still beholden to those same responsibilities or am I let off the hook, because I’m not technically a journalist.
Sammie Collison [52:11]
I don’t think you’re technically a journalist, but you’re not off the hook. So those are two, those things are not those are not intrinsically tied together. When you have an audience, you have a responsibility to that audience. And I think that everybody who has I always use the example of spheres of influence. And the larger your sphere of influence, the more responsibility you have to make sure that you’re a force of good in that sphere of influence. And so if you feel that doing the right thing is caring more and focusing more on the truth, then you have responsibility to that. And like that’s, that’s the burden that you carry with your, your voice your louder voice.
Jim Collison [52:50]
Well, you’ll have to, you’ll have to great those who are listening will have to grade me send me an email Jim at the average guy.tv let me know how I’m doing it does it is something I think about Like, I’ve really taking, you know, I think I’m like, I’m going to stop or I pretty much have stopped taking review units of things. I just don’t want to do that anymore. I don’t want I don’t want that. That’s, to me, that’s not an attractive thing to do on what I do here on the podcast is to take those things and review them. I just don’t, I don’t need any more stuff. And I don’t want to I don’t want to do it that way. I also want it to be entertaining in a lot of ways. I want people to listen to this and get information but I do want it to be entertaining. So I don’t know we’ve been doing this for 425 shows. People keep listening. So I’m assuming we’re doing we’re doing the right thing and and so we’ll keep doing what we do, but you can if you have any you got a beef with me, you can send me a note. Or you could Jim at the average guy TV. Sammy, as you think about you got a year and a half to go. What’s. What’s the dream? Yeah, that’s it’s coming up pretty crazy. We’re more than halfway. What’s the dream upon graduation? What would be best case scenario for you? Job wise,
Sammie Collison [54:06]
the dream is working for myself in some capacity, whether it’s writing or doing something more audio like podcasting, I want to stay in the realm of journalism and truth in. But I’ve always considered storytelling The most important thing to me. And so as long as I’m telling people’s stories in a way that matters, I’m okay with that. So wherever the wind takes me, being a podcast, or full time would be super dope. It’s cool job. Not that I’m biased because you know, you’re my dad and your professional podcaster. And I think it looks really fun. Um, but yeah, that’s that’s the dream is just to keep telling stories and to not be beholden to something that’s telling me to do things that I don’t want to do. I don’t have the most the highest respect for authority. That’s maybe one of my greatest flaws. And so if I my authority is myself then cool with that.
Jim Collison [55:00]
me I know, I know.
Sammie Collison [55:02]
Jim Collison [55:04]
know, okay, but you say that I think you’re really respectful about it in a lot of ways. There’s,
Sammie Collison [55:09]
yeah, I have respect for people as human beings, but I’m not gonna
Sammie Collison [55:16]
I’m not going to treat people as better than me if they haven’t earned that.
Jim Collison [55:20]
Yeah, well, I think that’s fair. I mean, you’ve been you’ve surprised me in the in the last couple years of being very reasonable. And yet holding your ground like, this is what I think and this is what I believe. But in these kinds of cases, you would have enjoyed the conversation on the deck last night the boys were having. Yeah, they gave up the post. Oh, you should have given up I think it got I think it got better towards the end there, but it was that’s my three boys that were there. One is overseas. The three that were they’re very, very different in their opinions. Oh yeah. And So not meet three people who are related or more different from each other but but Josh, my middle he he, he said that was actually a pretty interesting conversation, which he wouldn’t say he. He says exactly how he feels so good conversation. I just I have been I continue to be surprised that how fair you have been in a crazy new cycle over the last couple years how you’ve kind of held it together. So, so nicely done. If someone wanted to invite you to be on their podcast, maybe they’re hearing this and they’re like, ooh, professional podcast guests. Yes. How would they contact you?
Sammie Collison [56:41]
Well, I mean, I say that jokingly, but like, I am accepting invitations, um, you can, like tweet at me or DM me at Sammy Collison. My username is on the screen right now. Otherwise, it’s sa mm IE co Ll is ln on Twitter, or my professional email is S Collison dot Missouri and at gmail. com. And those are the those are the best ways to reach me. You gotta be I gotta be following you for you to DM me. But if you follow me, I might give you a follow back.
Jim Collison [57:11]
Yeah, no. And you got a little more on a little more involved in Twitter, I think lately. So it’s been Yeah,
Sammie Collison [57:16]
that’s the best place to reach my professional stuff. I retweet my stories on there.
Jim Collison [57:20]
Find to have you out there. You know, what changed a lot for me and you in school. As far as knowing what you were doing, is I followed all of your news friends in the newsroom, and they read all the time. And I’m like, Oh, now I start to understand, like the people you talked about, and you know, it’s been fun to get to know them. I don’t know I hadn’t done that before. But to follow the news, on Twitter, and maybe for listeners, for those you who are listening in your car right now and you’re thinking about man, I need some better news sources. Maybe there’s some options to start digging in a little bit and finding individuals who are doing Good news, whether you agree with it or not, by the way, I think you should Twitter. Well, I think you should follow. And this has kind of been for me over the last decade. I like to talk to people that I agree with and don’t agree with on things. Stranger, have those are reasonable conversations, as well. So thanks. We’ll plan on having you back. In the spring, late spring, again, as school gets out, and we still got to figure out what your summer looks like. But we’ll get you back on kind of catch up with you then. And by then hopefully, you’ve you will have a podcast guested on a bunch of shows. I mentioned the Patreon model, of course, we are on the Patreon model here and there are a bunch of you who helps support what we do, you can go to the average guy TV slash Patreon if you want to support your, if you like what we do, there’s I just, there’s just one plan out there. There’s a $5 a month plan and if you want to jump on it, and get in there, that every little bit helps, and it helps me to do some things that I wouldn’t normally be able to do. So I appreciate it the average guy TV slash, Patreon will get you there as well. I mentioned my email address Jim at the average guy TV, I am at Jay Collison on Twitter, and there’s actually a lot of activity on Twitter a lot of people are like Twitter and I’m like yeah, actually a lot have still happens out there.
Sammie Collison [59:18]
The rumor happens
Jim Collison [59:20]
it’s still kind of happening it’s in a lot of tech going on out there and so you can do that there. Don’t forget the average guy TV platform powered by Maple Grove partners get secure reliable high speed hosting from people that you know and you trust course you know, that’s Christian. And so you can get plans that start hosting and media hosting if your podcast your plans to start as little as $10 a month. head out to Maple Grove partners.com and, and you can get some information out there as well. We got some we got some great guests. Speaking of great guests, Sammy, thanks but we got some great guests coming up. When I think about we’re off next week because I’m in London, which can be super great. Aaron Lawrence is coming back on the 12th. And so some girl power there she’ll have some things to review right before Christmas. Joel from live door is coming on, on the 19th will be taking the 26th off. Sorry little tickler there I could get rid of I thought maybe if I just kept talking and go away but it just didn’t. Wieger is back will be joining Mike and I will be back with kind of a beginning of the year show that we’re doing on the second Paul. Brandon is lined up the week after that. Dwayne Robinson is coming back to finish the show. He started but we derailed him if you haven’t heard that already. That was last week. Big thanks to Duane, for being on the program last week and we kind of derailed him to talk about his job. He did have a bunch of gadgets to talk about. So he’s coming back as well. I’ll be off the week of the 30th Gallup has a big learning series that week and then Jay Madison’s come back to talk some hardware so we got some great shows ahead for you. If you haven’t subscribed You can find us anywhere home gadget just search Home Gadget Geeks want everything you can’t miss us. I even have video Do you know we have video RSS feed that’s available for you. So if you want to subscribe to it and watch it and your player supports video, you can get large and small download and have them ready. And you don’t have to use that crazy thing called YouTube. By the way, I think Sammy YouTube is going to start dropping non so people like a Gallup we don’t monetize. So they make no money off of us. There’s no ads that go. Some of the changes that have been going on lately, I think made me think they’re going to start dropping individuals who aren’t in the advertising because that’s, that’s the way they make their money.
Sammie Collison [1:01:39]
Or just get rid of the option of not advertising and just put ads on everybody stuff.
Jim Collison [1:01:44]
Yeah, I know. I actually think I’m gonna stop drop
Sammie Collison [1:01:46]
and if you if you don’t want the paycheck, then I guess they’ll keep it. They’ll keep your three cents maybe Yeah.
Jim Collison [1:01:52]
But you know, three cents a bunch of times adds up. So I’m actually thinking if I had a prediction for 2020 YouTube is going to make some major changes that are going to affect a lot of YouTubers. So I sense that coming. We may all have to think about what’s an alternative to YouTube this year. So that may be ought to check the facts though.
Sammie Collison [1:02:15]
before your eyes on YouTube though. Yeah,
Jim Collison [1:02:18]
yeah, I think as YouTube, a lot of things go. We are live every Thursday except Thanksgiving apparently because we’re live on Friday. We’re live every Thursday 8pm Central nine Eastern 900. The average k.tv slash live. If you haven’t subscribed, do it. love to have you in the conversation, all kinds of ways to do it. Want to thank you for coming out tonight. joining us on this Friday night. Sammy, thank you for saying yes to being interviewed tonight. And with that, we’ll say goodbye, everybody.
Sammie Collison [1:02:43]
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
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