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Why I talk about what I do

Read the full interview at The Splice Newsroom

In this interview, I explained that my role as Special Projects Editor involved not just digital experimentation, but also taking the ones that works and democratising it to benefit everyone in the newsroom.

But really, I should have included a third plank. The act of public speaking: giving interviews, writing blog posts, and speaking at conferences about my work and how I see the world.

I believe that doing so is not just important and personally useful — it is as much a part of the work as the experimentation and democratisation.

For one, it makes me better at the other parts of my job. The questions I get reflect what other people think it means to do project management in newsrooms, and shows me what preconceptions I’m dealing with. Having to explain my work to others pushes me to think deeper about what I do and why I do it. The hard questions are especially useful: They expose my blindspots.

Secondly, sometimes the talking is the doing. As Paul Watzlawick suggested, “One cannot not communicate” (and by corollary, one cannot not influence the system). Given that the ultimate purpose of my work (managing projects) is to change the system (how journalism gets done), it makes sense to be intentional and active in communication.

Finally, every public forum I am given is an opportunity for generosity and for giving back. I was inspired to pursue this work by seeing the possibilities that others have created in their own jobs and lives. I can only hope to do the same for others by talking about my work.

To paraphrase Sheldon B. Kopp, there’s nothing I can teach others by talking about my work, but maybe there’s something they can learn for themselves from seeing my path.

Here’s my full interview with Alan Soon on Medium

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