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Kim Pittaway

07: Dec 2012

Kim Pittaway is a journalist, consultant and educator. She is the past Editor-in-Chief of Chatelaine, Canada's largest women's magazine, a 7-time Canadian National Magazine Awards finalist, and a journalism instructor at Ryerson University in Toronto and University of King's College in Halifax. As a consultant, she has worked with a wide range of magazine, NGO and corporate clients in developing online content strategies.

Kim participated in the December 2012 MediaStorm Methodology Workshop. She had the following to say about her experience:

It’s not news that journalism is at a crossroads. And if you’re a journalist, a manager of journalists or a teacher of aspiring journalists, odds are that you’re at a crossroads too, wondering what you need to do to equip yourself, your team or your students with the skills needed to travel the uncertain road ahead of us all. You may also be wondering how you can manage to take a week out of your packed schedule for a training program.

I asked myself the same questions. But after having spent a week with Brian Storm and the MediaStorm team, I have no doubt of the value of the five days I spent in Brooklyn.

• My passion for storytelling was renewed. Being immersed in MediaStorm’s work is inspiring—but deconstructing how they do what they do with Brian and his team reinforced what I do well in my own work, challenged me to improve in areas that aren’t my strengths, and gave me insights into a collaborative approach to storytelling that I am certain will transform my own work, as a journalist, an editor and a journalism professor.

• I came away with practical advice and plans, right down to workflow, step-by-step processes and practical strategies for creating stories efficiently and effectively. I’m a word person first—but understanding how the MediaStorm team works with multimedia elements is already changing the way I organize myself to tackle a print story, and will certainly make tackling multimedia projects more feasible.

• I got to sit in a room for a week with a whole bunch of incredibly smart and talented people. Never underestimate the value of letting your brain rub and spark against the grey matter of smart people. I’m pretty sure my IQ improved.

Like the other participants, I filled a notebook with quotes, insights and strategies. But most exciting of all were the plans those notes sparked. By Day 2, I was making margin notes on projects, changes to course plans, potential collaborators—and I know I will be mining those insights and developing those plans in the days and weeks ahead.

My week with Brian and the MediaStorm team didn’t give me a roadmap to the future of journalism. But it did recalibrate my compass, equip me with a backpack full of intellectual supplies, and introduce me to some incredible traveling companions—all of which makes this crossroads we’re facing seem exciting rather than daunting.

Yes, the Kool-Aid here is mighty refreshing. You should definitely enroll.