Greetings from the valley of the sun and the national high school journalism convention

Well, here I am in Phoenix, and everything is at once so new and yet so old.

Everyone is talking about the death of newspapers. Everyone is talking about the rebirth of journalism — through blogging, tweeting, website designing and online magazine-ing. The theme of this convention is “Power Up,” and there are dozens of workshops on writing for the web, taking great photos, doing podcasts and even scrapping your school newspaper in favor of a news magazine (more on that later). People are filming, recording, shooting — the old days of hurriedly scribbling notes in a reporter’s notebook have never seemed more distant.

And yet … from my hotel room, with the window open, I can hear a man on the street, shouting about the war in Iraq. You could probably go to any street corner in any big city and encounter the same kind of street guy; this one’s been going on for maybe 20 minutes now, shouting so loud that I can hear him, nine stories up. His voice is growing hoarse and the sound of city traffic washes over him like a wave. And yet … he keeps talking, keeps trying to tell his story.

Maybe it’s just me, but it strikes me that we’re all a little like Street Guy — standing on a street corner, fighting to communicate, and hoping to find a way to do it that cuts through all of the noise.

Just how does that happen? Unfortunately, I don’t know, but I guess that’s the point of conventions like that and blogs like this.

Street guy just stopped shouting. Another workshop is starting. Gotta bounce.

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