Micheline Maynard scoffs at the remark that “radio is dying” in a classroom full of journalism students that are skeptical about their futures. With a smile still on her face she says,
“All of everything is changing.”
Maynard was a business reporter for the New York Times who is known for her coverage of the bailouts in the automobile industry. But after ten years of print journalism Maynard has turned to broadcast and blogging in the digital age of information. She now runs a personal food blog called CulinaryWoman and an NPR program called Changing Gears about the transforming industrial industry. Maynard is the perfect example of a journalist of the 21st century.
“You need to create an online presence for yourself,” says Maynard.
Maynard’s online presence is on her website, michelinemaynard.com, where you can find links to her other blogs, the books that she has written, and of course her twitter feed. She left her job at the New York Times she felt that she was “limited to just writing stories.” In this current market there are multiple other outlets to which Maynard can explore the world of journalism.
“When I was young we had to physically get a copy of news papers … now we have incredible access.” Says Maynard.
Maynard advocates that journalists need to become an expert in the trade that they are covering. Obviously the automotive industry isn’t something that all of use will be endlessly fascinated with, but through her job at the New York Times, Maynard has developed an endless base of knowledge on the market. This is shown through the two books she has written on the automotive market.
“There is a 70/30 rule to journalism,” says Maynard.
This rule is referring to the percentage of what you should cover in proper reporting. While 70 percent of what you are covering should be your expertise, 30 percent should be on other topics and stories that interest you. Maynard has brought this traditional format of journalism to the technological age. Along with her food blog and radio broadcasts, she is a writer for the Forbes blog called Voyages, which is “meant to help sort out what you need to know about the auto industry.”
While Maynard still teaches classic journalistic reporting with her “5 Sure-Fire Tips to Become A Good Journalist”, but she also acknowledges that there is a shift in the industry. Maynard discusses the effects of globalization on the automotive industry in her book The Selling of the American Economy, she also remarks on its effects in journalism.
“I can’t imagine it isn’t changing us as journalists,” says Maynard.
The change in journalists has brought into question the credibility of the job. Some news organizations have turned to citizen journalists as a way of satisfying their needs for information. Maynard refers to them as “community journalists” who she says, “would never hand over a microphone and do a story…”
While the job description of journalism has been bombarded with criticism, Maynard shows us how to keep journalistic integrity in our modern age.
“Don’t do journalism if you can’t commit,” says Maynard.