You Have the Power to Make Change Now
A Q&A with SRCCON:POWER speaker Robert Hernandez
SRCCON:POWER is coming up in just a few days, on December 13 and 14. Before then, we’re previewing the speakers selected to talk at the event. Here’s our Q&A with digital journalism professor Robert Hernandez, who’ll be speaking about creating and harnessing power.
Robert Hernandez on the Power of Horizontal Loyalty
Would you introduce yourself to our readers, please?
I’m a digital journalism professor experimenting with emerging technologies.
Can you tell us about an example of horizontal loyalty, where it was either essential to a success story, or totally lacking?
Oh man, I am fortunate to have many examples, but that also makes it tough to select just one! The notion of horizontal loyalty is that “we” have to come together and make something “we” believe in. I’d say the 7.5 years producing #WJCHAT, a weekly conversation about digital journalism held over Twitter, unlocked a lot of opportunities and built a strong and beautiful community. I made incredible friends and colleagues through that project, and some that I have yet to meet IRL. We wanted a space to have timely conversations about our work—since, to be honest, we weren’t getting it from leadership—so we created the space. That inspired people and, I can honestly say, helped change people’s careers and lives. It certainly changed my life.
What are a few high-level takeaways from your talk that you wish everyone could hear, even if they can’t be in the room at SRCCON:POWER?
The thesis is you have the power to make change now. Forget waiting until you get a promotion or until you are hiring or until you are in charge of the budget…regardless of where you are in your career, you have power now. And I’ll talk about specific examples that I have done, and others can do, to use their power.
Robert Hernandez, aka WebJournalist, is an Associate Professor of Professional Practice at USC Annenberg, but he’s not an academic… he’s more of a “hackademic” who specializes in “MacGyvering” digital journalism through emerging technologies. He and his students produce VR experiences under their brand: JOVRNALISM™, and their work has won awards from the Online News Association, and the Society for News Design, among others. Hernandez is also the co-founder of #wjchat and co-creator of the Diversify Journalism Project. He is the recipient of SPJ’s 2015 Distinguished Teaching in Journalism Award. He connects dots and people.
Editor, Source, 2015-2020