Oct 302007
Authors: Nikki Cristello

Roger Ogden knows all about choices.

“When you aren’t committed to a goal,” he said. “It’s a wish.”

Ogden, winner of the 2007 National Broadcaster of the Year, began his career in journalism when he was only 13 years old. And, from his humble beginnings, he moved on up to positions at 9News in Denver, president and CEO for media conglomerate Gannett’s broadcast division and even overseas to NBC Europe.

Ogden is known throughout the media community as an individual who has learned how to bridge the gap between traditional media and the innovative technologies of today. As part of the journalism department’s Holmes Distinguished Lecture Series, Ogden spoke to a packed room about the future of journalism Tuesday night.

Ogden focused much of his speech on the importance of the decisions we make.

“In capturing the split second before making a decision,” he said. “You can ultimately choose to make better decisions.”

The fact that there are now thousands of choices in TV, radio and the Internet, viewers may have difficulty finding the right program for them, he said.

“You have to distinguish the right choices for you,” he said. “Prioritize and focus on a goal.”

Ogden said the best trend in commercial TV is the ability to watch more programs at virtually any time. This is called non-linear programming and is different than what traditional media have been for decades, programs available only how and when the producer allows them to be.

This has also proved to be a challenge for advertisers because people can fast forward through commercials. He said one solution for advertisers has been product placement.

Trevor Edy, a former Collegian sports writer and a senior journalism major attended the lecture for an ethics class and they have been discussing the ethical implications of product placement.

“I am writing a paper on the ethics of product placement,” he said. “I think to an extent, its OK, but when you notice it, when it becomes obvious, it goes overboard.”

Ogden said ethics in journalism are increasingly important, especially when professional journalists have to compete with amateurs who have been empowered by new technologies.

“Be able to recognize the source of the information,” he said.

Katie Niebuhr, a junior journalism major, attended the lecture for her ethics class. She said she plans on writing about the ethical implications on the future of technology in journalism. Specifically, being able to do as Ogden said, and know the source of information.

“People need to be able to distinguish between a journalist and a blogger,” she said. “I think journalistic integrity and maintaining credibility is very important in the future of journalism.”

Ogden also said knowing surroundings is importing.

“Know what’s going on around you,” he said. “The ability to sound intelligent and to be intelligent without a script is increasingly necessary.”

He also stressed “editing in your head” and staying on point.

“Know what your objective is, know what your message is.”

Assistant news editor Nikki Cristello can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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