I went to church yesterday where the theme of the sermon was fear.
Father Dan talked about how fear is just irrational, and you can’t let it stop you from being a good person and doing the right thing.
I could relate to that. I’m secretly one of those people who is afraid of everything (I blame it on an active imagination). Some of my biggest fears are heights, spiders, flying and shark attacks.
However, I don’t let my fears stop me from anything – I still fly on airplanes, swim at the beach, etc. The thing is that I know those fears are irrational. If I let fear stop me, I would miss out on a lot of experiences.
I have to admit it, but a while ago, one of my irrational fears was online journalism. Looking back, I can’t really remember why or how, but I guess I was intimidated by not knowing anything about it. I knew I was going to have to learn it from scratch, and that scared me.
When I started dating Brett Roegiers, he pushed me to learn it slowly on my own. It started just by talking about the benefits of the Internet. Then I took an online class and started a blog, and here I am! A regular online journalism advocate!
I’ve been thinking a lot about why people are so averse to online journalism, and I really think it’s just because it’s out of their comfort zone. When you’ve been “doing” journalism one way your whole life, it can be scary to change it.
There are different approaches to pushing people to understand the Web. I don’t profess to have the answers, but maybe we should use some sensitivity in individual cases. Maybe some people are just irrationally afraid of the Internet and need a little friendly coaxing. They could start slowly… like with audio. Audio is just like writing a story.
Back in November, I commended CNN for its innovation and bravery to try anything. I think they realize a fear of change is irrational and stagnating.
My hope is that someday journalists realize that potential and welcome it with open arms, whether it’s a full embrace or learned gradually. However they learn it, it would be better than fighting it because it’s different.