To GO LIVE or not to GO LIVE, that is the question

as published in the Blytheville Courier News on Saturday, October 15, 2016

Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist that created “Maslow’s hierarchy of needs” once said, “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.”
The words of that quote rang especially true Thursday evening as we at the CN attempted to once again bring more innovative content to our valuable readers, but this time LIVE. Unfortunately, innovation and change ALWAYS comes with growing pains. It was our intention to bring the first of five quality CN Debates. The debate Thursday was for the Arkansas State Representative District 54 race and it was a success; but it was not without its “learning moments”. Rest assured, we have learned and we will do things a bit different for the next debates.
In advance of the event I attempted to foresee every conceivable problem that could arise, so that I could prepare and prevent them from occurring. They were all averted except for two: we had technological difficulties with the live feed and one of the candidates cancelled late in the process. Nevertheless, I believe that voters are presented with a good resource by which to educate themselves regarding where the one candidate that did participate stands.
First, I want to thank and applaud candidate Hunter Williams for being willing to participate. I know first hand, exactly how intimidating it can be to be the only person on screen. I cannot, however, imagine how difficult it would be to be the only person on screen and to answer questions, when they aren’t known in advance. To his credit, Williams desired the electorate to know where he stands on the important issues and therefore, “stepped up to the plate” and went solo. He had a terrific attitude about it all.

Unfortunately, any time people do things differently; there is a natural skepticism. I get that. But, the world is constantly changing and so is print journalism. No longer is it enough to simply put out a newspaper (which is in and of itself a mammoth task), but now live, instantaneous and oftentimes interactive content must be provided as well. In that way, the newspaper industry has improved. But, it also includes a learning curve for those of us (nearly all in the industry) that did not go to college to be trained in networking, video production, video editing, etcetera.

While simply being able to ask good questions, develop sources, write well and ‘paste up stories’ was enough in the past; it simply isn’t now. And quite frankly, I don’t’ want it to be. I say all this to say that the first time a steel worker operates a newly installed, expensive, state of the art piece of equipment…there will be problems (either with the equipment or the learning curve of the operator). The first time that a baker uses a new, state of the art rotating convection oven, their first loaves of bread might be a little dark. The first time a teacher attempts to use a smart-board in their classroom, it might not work. But, those innovations should not be avoided, feared or resisted because innovation allows us to do more and to do it all better.

Having said that, I pledge to you that the CN will continue to innovate. We will continue to develop new content that is valuable, informative, entertaining and relevant. We will strive to do all these things without flaw or blemish, but I can tell you now…sometimes it won’t be.

Our future debates will be recorded using the same technology that I record my CN Chats and we will be acquiring an external microphone to improve sound quality. Then once the debates are concluded, we will post them in their entirety. They will not technically be live, but they will be (using an old TV term) “live to tape”. They will still have the LIVE feel and we will not edit them.

But be warned. There will be times in the future that we will go live and by then, hopefully we will have mastered our learning curve and you won’t see the blemishes. If so great – if not, please be patient. We’re all still a work in progress.

thenry@blythevillecourier.com

About Tom Henry 133 Articles

My Biography

I have been fortunate to have held a number of very interesting and diverse jobs over the years. Those jobs have ranged from being a newspaper reporter (twice), restaurant and retail single unit store manager (numerous), restaurant multi-unit manager, a Christian bookstore manager, an online hospitality management recruiter and pastor. I have been used numerous times to turn troubled stores into profitable stores with double digit increases in sales and national top ten rankings (multiple times). God has gifted me with talents, experiences and spiritual gifting that allows me to get “right to the root of the problem” very quickly.

Additionally, I have three college degrees including a Master of Arts in history from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro and Arkansas Northeastern College in Blytheville.

I spend all of my non-work time with the sweetest woman I’ve ever met, Carol. Together we have four children (ranging in age from 19 to 25). She is without a doubt the answer to many years of fervent prayer. I have never been happier than I am now.

In my free time, I enjoy writing, reading, traveling (especially to historic/civil war sites), learning, intellectual discussion and singing/deejaying. Carol and I live an hour north of Memphis and love to go “walking in Memphis, ten feet off of Beale”.

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