Saturday, May 25, 2013

Blog #10: Creativity

Due: Sunday, June 2
Word Count: At least 400
Link count: At least 3 good links
“An artist is someone who uses bravery, insight, creativity, and boldness to challenge the status quo. And an artist takes it personally.”
― Seth GodinLinchpin: Are You Indispensable?

You know what's hard? Figuring out how to ask people to be creative - or even deciding how to ask people to think about creativity. I don't think it's possible. I can't tell you to be creative. I can't tell you how to be creative. The very act of asking you questions about creativity takes away from the value of your art. Creativity definitely cannot be demanded, so go ahead and throw all these questions away and take your own path here. I'm going to throw enough questions out there that you may be able to ask your own.

Some journalists are reporters. Others are artists. I struggle with knowing whether the artists take more liberties with the truth. Since all stories are filters - where the storytellers choose which details to include and which to omit - then all stories are untrue. Some people take that to mean that being a creative journalist means telling better lies. I'm not sure what to think about that.

Here are a ton of questions that we came up with as a group.

There's a bunch of TED Talks you could use to spark ideas, too.

  1. Is journalism creative work? Create an example of Creative Journalism for your next story on and post it here. Talk about the work that went in to making something creative.

  2. Find an example of creative journalism or non-fiction, link to it, and explain what makes it unique, original, and worth reading/viewing/consuming.

  3. How are your thoughts on creativity evolving? What does it mean to be creative?

  4. Is it possible to do creative work on your own?

  5. Do people get less creative as they get older? Why? What influences people to become less creative? If we are getting less creative, how do we recapture creativity?

  6. Check out this TED Talk by Ken Robinson. Do schools really kill creativity? How could schools or society do better at fostering or maintaining a child's creativity as they group up? What role has school played with your creativity throughout your life?

  7. Here's an article about research that proves that most teachers don't like creativity, because creative traits are typically described by teachers as obnoxious.  It shows that teachers not only neglect these traits, they actually punish them.

  8. Speaking of schools killing creativity... What are grades for? How do they influence or hinder creativity?

  9. How important is creativity to the job you'd love to have one day?

  10. What is your creative process?

  11. Many of you say that you have to wait until you go home to do blogs or creative work. What are the elements or environments that surround creativity? If you have to wait until you go home to be creative, then what is school for?

  12. Do parents harm creativity?

  13. Is creativity an act of boldness or bravery, or is it the only rational way to work?

  14. What role does failure (or the fear of failure) play in developing or expressing creativity?

  15. What role does the internet filter play on creativity, learning, or inspiration?

  16. Is creativity dangerous or disruptive by nature? If so, is too much creativity a bad thing? Is a system needed to channel or focus creativity, or do systems break true creativity?

  17. How does a person be creative within a structure?

  18. Does a person need to first live within a pattern in order to be truly creativity?

  19. If we have to break rules to be creative, then what are the point of rules? How should rules be used? Does a person have to be "ready" to be creative?

Here's a video on 29 ways to stay creative. It's blocked at school.  It may help you.

So, now that you've seen 19 sparks, see if you can turn one of them into a fire. Combine them, ignore them, take them in totally new directions, or remix them into whatever you need to come up with something new.

Good luck! I'm excited to read what you come up with.
Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. Your art is the act of taking personal responsibility, challenging the status quo, and changing people.
― Seth GodinLinchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Blog #9: Starting a Discussion

Due: Friday, May 17, at the end of class
300 words minimum
2 links minimum

Your blogs this week will be the basis for class discussions next week. It's very important these get done by Friday so I can spend some time this weekend to put together discussions for next week. Your help is greatly appreciated.

Take a look at one (or a few) of the following sites that deal with current issues in Journalism and New Media. | Pew Internet and American Life Project | Pew Research Center | Columbia Journalism Review |  Journalist's Resource | Sensible Talk: Analysis | NPR's On The Media | | New Media @ Media Life|Online Journalism Review | | |

1. Either find an article that presents or raises  a great question and explore it. Examine the author's points and bring in some points that either support or refute it. Finally, ask questions that could lead to a great class discussion based on what you researched.

2. Ask questions first and find articles that could give clues to answers. Create the discussion yourself.

For example: I found this tremendous article on the influence of a single person on journalism that could be greater than Twitter or even Facebook. I would love to start a discussion based on this, including the visual data included in the article. I'd reflect on it, finding some other sources that helped with my understanding and then include some questions to start a discussion.