Michele Day discovered journalism at a summer camp for high school students. More than 30 years later, she’s still going to journalism camp. But now, she’s organizing the event – and planning activities that reflect the transformation of journalism today. As the founding director of Northern Kentucky University’s Journalism in the Digital Age Workshop, Michele works to put together a program that includes things like shooting Instagram photos on iPads, posting videos on websites and developing infographics with data – in addition to the traditional interviewing and writing techniques that she learned as a teen attending her first journalism camp.
But she says the overall purpose of the program is quite similar to the camp of her youth.
“We still want to give students a peek into the lives of journalists and how they can tell interesting, credible and important stories,” she said. “The difference is that today, they have a lot more ways to tell those stories.”
Michele applies that same philosophy when she teaches journalism classes and advises Student Media at NKU. “Good journalism must be interesting,” she said. “You need to give people a reason to care. Your information also must be clear and accurate. But after that, let your imagination go. Be
willing to experiment and discover the opportunities that technology has created.” Michele worked for newspapers for more than 20 years, including 17 years as an editor and a reporter for the Cincinnati and Kentucky Post. She’s been teaching at NKU since 2001 and also serves as the faculty adviser for the NKU chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.
Outside of NKU and journalism, her most recent goals are to read five good beach books – totally unrelated to journalism – over the summer and to track more than 12,000 steps a day on her Garmin activity tracker.
Favorite TV show and why? — My current favorite has to be “Good Wife.” That’s the one I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen every week. I have never analyzed why I like this show. But I think it must be that I enjoy watching Alicia’s character struggle to balance her professional and personal roles. I like that the characters are complex. The good guys aren’t perfect and the bad guys aren’t all bad. That’s very real life. And I like the show’s humor. People need to laugh even in the most difficult times. I also enjoy the competition of reality TV like “The Voice.” And I’m hooked on “House of Cards.”
Favorite Social Media site or blog and why? — Too many to choose from here. But I’ll go with Twitter. It’s such an incredible resource. I discover something new every time I log in. I usually read my Twitter feed through the Flipboard app – which creates a personalized magazine of my feed. I also use Flipboard to follow a ton of different news sites and magazines.
Memorable moment and why? — I’m limiting this to professional moments. On a beautiful spring day years ago while I was a reporter at The Kentucky Post, I got to go on an assignment that involved riding in a canoe down the Licking River. It certainly wasn’t my most important or best reporting project, but I remember feeling the sun on my face and gazing at the beautiful scenery and thinking – They pay me to do this! Since moving to academia, my most memorable moments tend to involve the success of students. When students win awards or find the perfect internship or job or just execute a great piece of journalism, the feeling as an adviser/teacher is beyond belief.
If a movie was made of your life what genre would it be and who should play you? – I really have no idea. My life as a movie would have a very small audience; maybe my Mom would sit through it. Or not. But my favorite genre is probably romantic comedy. I’d like to think Sandra Bullock would play me.
What’s one thing you’d put on your bucket list and why? Number one thing on my bucket list is to watch a Broadway show in New York. While I’m there, I’d also like to visit The New York Times. I sent three students to a student media conference at The Times this spring. I’m still jealous.