Aug 22, 2020
In today’s episode, I’m interviewing someone who—until this pandemic hit—I didn’t realize I would miss on a personal level.
We’ve only interacted a couple of times in person—and always at the Foeder for Thought festival, hosted by GBH and Green Bench Brewing Company in St. Petersburg, Florida. In the months following the cancellation of the festival back in March, I found myself paying more and more attention to Ren LaForme’s Twitter—and honestly, I think a big reason was that I was lamenting the loss of that once-a-year hang we’d get after a day hosting talks under the Florida sunshine. Walking off that stage and across the street to the Independent Bar, and having a few beers with Ren, was usually a great nightcap to an already stellar week.
Another reason I started paying attention to Ren’s Twitter was its level of nuance. I came to realize that he’d taken on a new role at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, and as a result, the content coming from its site, Poynter.org, had shifted in a direction that was increasingly applicable to me, and what GBH does.
Ren has long focused on the technology and tools of journalism as part of the institute’s ongoing public education. And more recently, he took over as Managing Editor, and shifted his focus to publishing stories about everything from the tensions among newsrooms and threats to the safety of journalists to equity in the pursuit of the craft.
So I don’t know. Maybe I was missing him. Maybe he was publishing some great content. Either way, the algorithm provides. And as a publisher myself, I wanted to hear more about some of these issues, and how journalists who are coming up in academia now are thinking about them.
This is Ren LaForme of the Poynter Institute. Listen in.