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SCJ holds forum on advantages of digital media

Monty Siekerman, editor of The Ada Icon, spoke to Ohio Northern University's Society for Collegiate Journalists on Jan. 30 (Northern Review photo/Kasy Long).

Monty Siekerman, editor of The Ada Icon, spoke to Ohio Northern University's Society for Collegiate Journalists on Jan. 30 (Northern Review photo/Kasy Long).

The fields of journalism and communications have greatly changed over the past few years, with new technologies, methods and expectations being continually introduced.

With all of the changes, students in these fields must be willing to take the first step and be educated about their possibilities with finding jobs after graduation. As part of the Society for College Journalist’s annual Speaker’s Forum, Monty Siekerman talked about his position as editor of The Ada Icon on Jan. 30. 

Siekerman began his career in journalism as a reporter and photographer for a suburban Indianapolis daily newspaper. He moved to Ada more than 50 years ago when he was named director of public information at Ohio Northern University. He led the university’s news bureau, sports information, video content, graphic design, public relations and advertising.

Siekerman discussed how The Ada Icon, a digital newspaper, is an example of the journalism of the future. The newspaper engages readers by including daily polls, video content and continually changing out stories. He emphasized that digital media relies on visual content to drive readers’ attention.

Journalism is changing to include visual effects because people don’t have long attention spans anymore,” he explained during the forum discussion.

Siekerman continued to discuss the growing changes to journalism, explaining that journalism is more conversational and informal than the traditional, stilted news writing. Writing is more creative than it was when he began his career.

“It’s fun and exciting. There’s always a story somewhere,” he said.

Siekerman finds himself attending community events to write the best story possible. By doing this, he meets so many different people and has become a popular eye in Ada.

In response to why he enjoys his job as editor of The Ada Icon, Siekerman said, “This is my way to give back to the community. I can’t give back financially, but telling the stories people care about is how I can give back.”

Ultimately, Siekerman’s advice to students in communications is to join a newspaper staff.

There’s no better training out there than pounding out stories every day. So, go write. Tell your community’s stories.” 

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