Dispatch from the Frontlines: Ann Nyberg

n1086603983_8700I’m fairly certain one of the following two things is true:  either Ann Nyberg never sleeps, or she has a staff of Twitterers, Facebookers and emailers who scan the world’s news second by second, sifting for journalism and new media gold and then immediately firing links off to her followers with short notes like “this is worth a look.”

Invariably, the things Ann Nyberg finds “worth a look” truly are.  And in a Seesmic Desktop world of nonstop shortened links flooding column after column, that’s really saying something.  Ann’s one of the smart people I’ve found through blogging and Twittering, and we share an interest–a passion, really–for answering that question:  “what next?”

When somebody answers that question, if it’s not Ann herself, she’ll be standing very closeby, and count on it–she’ll be the first to Tweet the rest of us the answer.

DISPATCH FROM THE FRONTLINES:  Ann Nyberg, Main Anchor, WTNH-TV, New Haven

Okay so here goes, my first blog post for Mark Joyella, God I hope this is coherent. I, along with his new wife, Tiffanie, happen to think Mark is brilliant at trying to figure out what is next for news, media, content, whatever it’s going to be called for the foreseeable future. Mark allowed me into his life thru Facebook…what a tool that is turning out to be.

As TV news, under its current model began to collapse in earnest last fall, I started following Mark’s LocalNewser blog and was immediately plugged in to what he was trying to achieve. Mark was, is trying to make headway into a changing world and stay viable and true to the field he loves. Unlike so many who have spent their lives telling stories, Mark “quit” his job at his Miami, Florida TV station to marry the woman of his dreams. So smart, on Mark’s part–personal satisfaction comes first, always first.

Ike:  The Rainmaker

Ike: The Rainmaker

I’m a television News Anchor Reporter for WTNH-TV…I’ve been in the business for 30 years, my career has taken me from Indiana, to Oklahoma, to Connecticut. Yep, I was raised in Indiana but was actually born in San Angelo, Texas in a quonset hut for God’s sake on Goodfellow Air Force Base. During the time of my birth there In January of 1957, President Eisenhower came to call on the Air Force Base during a severe drought in West Texas…shortly after he left it began to rain….not sure if he hovered over my crib…but perhaps that was the beginning of my “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead” kind of attitude.

At any rate…figuring out what’s next…right, that’s where I was. As I watched Mark online, in my own head I felt this huge push to do something, anything, to figure out how to help all the marvelous media types in print and TV and others lying on the side of the road, as I described it…laid off just wanting to put pen to paper or mic to hand. A vast amount of writers, gone silent, couldn’t stand that notion, never will. I have said, if news doesn’t thrive in this country we could be looking at a “police state.” Though that  sounds rather out-on-a-limb…it happens…slowly…but it happens. Local stories aren’t told, corruption rears its head, you know the drill. Iran.

So, what to do, my first notion was to start a think tank…bring together journalists to talk about how to fix this…just get the conversation going. Facebook allowed me to do that, to contact people I didn’t even know and say,”hey, let’s start talking.” It worked because others were feeling the same way. For lack of a better name, but one that I thought sounded fun, WTNH-TV Sports Director, Noah Finz, suggested “Let’s Get This Party Started.”

Since I’m rather an “Auntie Mame” sort, that title was splendid I thought, and so with that title I sought out members. After mulling my idea over a bit I decided, in this new world, that the group needed to be fuller, more diverse, richer, more minds from other disciplines to obtain as many ideas as possible. Once again I reached out on Facebook and hit others with my idea. Our brain trust is now, journalists, an author, an architect, techies, an events planner, marketing specialists, entrepreneurs, a banker etc…no, no candlestick maker yet…but who knows.

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This is in no way reinventing the wheel…but it’s a start at really pushing the envelope for ourselves individually and as a group…we are loyal to each other–that is part of the mission. Banding together like this feels like there is a safety net for all of us, perhaps an extended family.  After a first meeting, our Yale architect said…I think we should call this group “Navigating Change” …and so we are now “Navigating Change, Media Think Tank.” You will find us on a fan page on Facebook under that name. We have a logo now too.

We have had a second meeting and a third is now being planned. Who knows how many titles we may have, but we have started something in this very democratic group to make a difference and navigate change for who knows how many.

Stay tuned.

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4 Comments

Filed under Local News 2.0

4 responses to “Dispatch from the Frontlines: Ann Nyberg

  1. Anonymous

    “So, what to do, my first notion was to start a think tank…bring together journalists to talk about how to fix this…just get the conversation going.”

    That’s exactly the problem too many stations run into, including my former station. Your average television station is going to be full of people who are not papered journalists – and yet live and breath social media, even more so than your average GA reporter. But they get left out of the conversation and all you find in the station web planning meetings are the folks with the j-school degrees.

  2. Anonymous, (is that your real name?)

    I agree that in many newsrooms, the people with the scary skills on social media never get included in the conversation. It leads to the kind of innovation in reverse that I talk about in my post this week about “SlimeWatch,” which is–stations know how to do what they’ve always done, and “new” is hard to grasp.

    That said, Ann Nyberg’s done a great job of including all kinds of people in her thinktank, and that gives it unique power. I remember thinking at the first meeting, “an architect? an author of wedding and entertaining books?” Well, trust me, those two have that “outside the usual news thinking” juice that prevents the discussion from staying firmly rooted in yesterday.

    In any newsroom attempting social media, I’d urge news directors to seek out the people, whether they do chyron or shoot breaking news, and get them involved. Do do less is to handicap the “innovation” that is so desperately needed.

    And since we all know news directors will, with few exceptions, NOT take my advice to seek out the social media savvy members of their own operations (turning instead to–God bless ’em–consultants) it’s a good idea to walk into the news director’s office and offer your expertise as someone who can describe Twitter. Trust me, you’ll be invited to explain. “What’s Twitter, again?”

    Be ready to be annoyed, but at least you’ll be part of the conversation.

    Mark

  3. Pingback: Navigating Change « The Laurel

  4. Anonymous: I’ve read your post a few times and I really don’t understand your point but I have a hunch that you’re completely missing the point of Navigating Change.

    The group (that I am proud to be a part of) is not only bent on taking charge of their careers, we are charting a new territory for anyone looking to have a positive impact (big or small) on life in an age without the ivory tower. Certain news sources are respected and trusted. Others have jaded us beyond the limits of trust. So the masses are turning to our peers to learn, share and create, before we act. So we, as peers, have a great responsibility to ourselves and others to be the best that we can be in our professional and personal lives – for we are looked to as leaders and citizens all at once. The question is, what can each of us contribute to the masses that will help improve our lives instead of just adding to the noise? That’s what we’re trying to figure out in Navigating Change.

    These are exciting times. I think one of my favorite quotes will be ringing true for a while: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”—Neale Donald Walsch

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