Last week I had the opportunity to sit down with Andy Carvin, Senior Strategist for National Public Radio. We were both in New York for ReadWriteWeb.com’s 2Way Summit at Columbia University where Andy was a keynote. He spent most of his time on stage talking about the Gay girl in Damascus story that was surfacing, a perfect case study on the type of journalism Andy is practicing, but I wanted to know more generally what he thought about what he was doing.
It seems that Andy Carvin stumbled into his current role almost accidentally. He had a personal interest in the middle east, so when the revolutions started he just simply got in touch with some contacts that he had in the region via Twitter. That quickly escalated into a full-time job and ultimately into a shining example of what a digital journalist looks like, despite the fact that he doesn’t have a journalism background.
Also notable is that while Twitter is the most visible place for following what Andy is doing, he claims to be largely platform agnostic. He says Twitter was just a natural place for having the types of conversations that lead to meaningful information for the West, but that he is active on Facebook and YouTube as well. I think this is key because it emphasizes the function of the 21st Century digital journalist as opposed to the tools by which he does his job.
What we learn from Carvin is that this new type of journalism that has been praised is now proven. Social media does, in fact, allow for greater, quicker, easier collaboration, but not at the expense of high quality, ethically sound journalism.
Take a look at the short interview below, and let me know what you think. Are you a fan of what Andy is doing or do you think it’s just a fad?