By Samantha Holm | Arts & Culture Editor
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel once said, “In a free society, some are guilty, but all of us are responsible.”
Further, a free society requires access to information that allows its citizens to make the best possible decisions.
This is the unique, moral imperative of the press, but how can it serve this function as an industry in peril? After all, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the decrease in revenue from television, radio and newspaper will negatively impact the long-term demand for journalists.
During his visit to Spokane, Andrew Springer sought to answer this question for America’s next generation of reporters.
Springer is the executive producer of a new nonprofit startup called Notice News, which aims to educate high schoolers about the news. He is an Emmy and Peabody award-winning journalist and has worked for numerous major news companies, most notably as social media director at both NBC News and ABC News. During his time at NBC, he spearheaded the development of “Stay Tuned”, a news channel built for Snapchat.
On Nov. 1, Springer served as a keynote speaker for WJEA day, a one-day conference held for high school students by the Washington Journalism Education Association. The next day, he lectured at Whitworth University as the year’s Flora Distinguished Journalist, an honor established by a Whitworth alum five years ago.
Springer visited Whitworth classrooms and spoke with them individually. “One thing that stood out to me was the amount of concern that your generation has about the future and about how dark the outlook seems for the next 50 years,” he said. “Nobody thought the next 50 years are really going to be golden for America.”
During his lecture, he talked at length about the shared responsibility of the press and media consumers to improve the condition of the country. He also shared stories about pivotal moments in his career and offered advice about how to succeed in the media industry.
As a proud Christian, Springer offered a strong call to action for Christian reporters in the audience. “Remember your responsibility as a journalist and your responsibility as a Christian. You have a responsibility to serve the public to help people live better lives and bring about the Kingdom of God.”
After talking with Whitworth students, Springer reported feeling heartened by the amount of concern for the future demonstrated by everyone. “I think your generation gets back to a sense that something has to be done. What has been great about Whitworth is seeing the Christian conviction of that.”