Kara Swisher emphasizes 'no fear' mentality

September 5, 2014 05:00

By Emily R. West, RTDNA News
 
Do it differently and don’t wait.
 
Do a story in all Vines. Do it through an entire Hyperlapse. Do it in a way journalists traditionally haven’t.
 
“Everybody waits around for the boss system when there are so many opportunities,” said Kara Swisher, speaking at Excellence in Journalism 2014. "Do it now," is the main advice Swisher gave to a room full of journalists who want to see change or become entrepreneurs for the future of the media industry.
 
“Artists and creative people have much more control thank they think,” Swisher said. “You have to think a little bit more out there. Don’t be shy. You have to have a really have to be aggressively promiscuous [with your ideas].”
 
Swisher is one of the primary innovators for Re/code and has made her life in journalism all about technology and the evolution of the Internet. She saw the decline of print journalism a long time ago, back in the mid 90s.
 
She said she doesn’t see any traditional newsroom lasting, and that newsrooms of the future will look nothing like they do now. “These massive newsrooms will not exist unless Jeff Bezos buys you,” she said.
 
That statement resonated with Scott Heiberger, who is a communications specialist for the National Farm Medicine Center. “She did inspire me to go back to our work team, and her talk does kind of give us an extra boost of confidence to keep going the way we are going and not worrying about tradition. It gave us reinforcement.”
 
Her session also touched on the mindset she has kept for personal success: Don’t keep a hated job. Maintain a yes/and attitude rather than a no/but. Her most important advice of all?
 
“One of the things I have to say is that when I changed my career in my 40s,” she said. “I was not happy. One of the things I asked myself is if I am happy with what I am doing. It’s a really important quality in your career.”
 
She also is never afraid to pitch an idea. According to her, that is what change is all about. There is no bad idea, and she iterated that all great innovators such as Steve Jobs failed at least more than once.
 
“You have to just do it,” Swisher said. “If you have a great idea, it’s not a problem if it fails.”
 
And it’s her boldness in change that’s some from the audience are going to take back to their own newsrooms and organizations.
 
“I think what I took from her most is her attitude and how she is so confident and that is want to take away,” said Katie Steiner, a communications associate from Engaging News Project. “I want to be fearless in trying.“