Speaking to Buffalo High School Students

Posted on May 24, 2012

How do you turn ideas into reality?

  • Have clear-cut project leaders
  • Keep people accountable – check up on stuff
  • Make good ideas public (The Forum, anyone?)
  • Have a clearly defined workflow/way in which you work with ideas

“Making Ideas Happen”- great book!

How do you get people to work together?

  • Find their strengths and weaknesses
  • Know what people are good at
  • Match the right people together
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment, and fail, too

What was your vision for MPLS.TV?

I wanted to make the story of Minneapolis, by Minneapolis, for Minneapolis. The Hoofprint is like that, but for BHS students.

How do you find fresh content that no one else is covering?

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Walk the hallways and look for “characters”, or interesting people
  • Be “hyper-aware”
  • Discover things

Growing up, what do you want to be when you grew up, and how does that compare to what you do now?

  • I wanted to be a music video producer – and I have done this.
  • In high school, I was in DECA, and really liked that, and it’s entrepreneurship-ness.

How do you know if something is too controversial to publish?

  • Use your conscience, or intuition
  • Have a code in place of what you will or will not publish. (We have this. There’s a formal document that we submitted to the school board a while back that states what we can or can’t publish, but the back of your handbook should serve as your guide. Don’t have a handbook? Shame, and you can see one right here.)
  • Remember that you can be edgy without being offensive.

What’s the best advice that you’ve been given?

  • Be yourself – individuals are what make collaboration so amazing, beautiful and important
  • Believe in yourself
  • Go out and make something

Do you have any advice for High School students who are going into media careers?

  • The stuff from the last question applies here
  • Network with other people – talk to people who are doing jobs you want to do and working with people you want to work with, make those connections with other people while you are young.

How do you help people be creative, while still being able to keep deadlines?

  • Give them boundaries within which to work – that actually fosters creativity (That’s kind of what we do with issue themes)
  • Have brainstorming sessions (That’s what the Wednesday Hoofprint meetings are)
    • Make sure that in the brainstorming sessions to never shoot any idea down. No matter how crazy an idea may seem, we can always use it and others can build off of it.

Are there some things that you are always thinking about as you’re writing a story?

  • Who am I writing for? Who is my audience?
  • Why is my audience going to read this?

How do you inform and entertain someone at the same time?

  • Be brief and concise
  • Use different kinds of content – words, photos, videos – Layer the different types of media throughout each type of publication
  • Think about how you, as the visitor of the website or reader of the newspaper, would look at the design and writing – would you like it?

How do you deal with criticism?

  • Haters gonna hate
  • Genuine criticism is valuable and important, because you do want to become better.
  • If a criticism really hits you hard, use it as motivation to do better next time.
  • Think, “What can we do to make it better?” and “Are there ways to improve this by involving others?”
    • Are the students allowed to submit their own ideas?
    • Are the students allowed to vote on which ideas they like the most?