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I.C. MURRELL — We’re all mobile and multimedia

The more I’m astonished over what kind of background and education high school and college students can receive these days, the more I realize I’ve not stepped foot in an active college classroom since 2003.

No, I’m not old. I’m ageless. I’ve seen this world change quicker in the last 17 years than in the two decades prior.

Along with hairstyles, clothes and vehicles come with the way we gather news, whether we take notes and soundbytes as reporters or we read and watch the latest reports. Whether today’s college students can visualize journalism pre-2003, I’m not sure, but I’ll soon find out one way or another.

Soon was supposed to be Tuesday. A power outage interrupted classes at Lamar University, and my ever-growing notes for my latest speech rested in the laptop.

To give you just a snippet of the knowledge I’ll drop, I’ll pose these questions to the students:

  • How many of you have your own laptop?
  • How many of you have your own video camera?
  • How many of you own a smartphone?

What they may not know is today’s necessity was yesterday’s luxury. The first time I paid a phone bill, a phone book revealed my first name, home number and address.

Thanks to the necessity of the internet, our personal information is a little more private — that is, if we’re not sharing it over social media.

Each of us who partake in a digital society is as mobile and multimedia as a journalist, but it still takes a certain skill set to be a responsible journalist. That’s why I have a class to speak to.

If today’s students understand this much, the news you read here will never be fake.

If you need further snippets of knowledge:

I started writing sports because I was a good writer and could follow what my local journalists were writing about in the newspaper. Our newspaper was the most interactive tool we had to learning about everything business, education, health, religion, weather and sports.

Taking the same basic journalism set, I began to learn about local life and disseminate how life here is impacted. That’s how I transitioned — but never got away from my background.

Anytime I go to city hall or talk with a business owner, I simplify and at times put into pictures how life either is or will be different. That’s the importance of what each of us in our newsroom does.

Being mobile and having different media aren’t qualities that just belong to journalists. The everyday life we live takes a certain skill to credibly account for each and every time.

I.C. Murrell is the editor of The News. He can be reached at 409-721-2435 or at ic.murrell@panews.com.

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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