What they're saying about the senior editor for features and her visit to Marquette
By Allison Dikanovic
For the past couple semesters, Mira Lowe has taken a day off from her packed schedule in the CNN newsroom to speak to students in #Loweclass at Marquette University in Milwaukee. As senior editor for features at CNN Digital, Lowe oversees the entertainment, lifestyle and travel sections on CNN.com. Students have repeatedly shown nothing but positive feedback to having Lowe in the classroom. Below are excerpts from previous journalism students' blogs highlighting what Lowe's visits entailed and how they felt about what she shared.
"Not only was she graceful, humorous and kind, but she had lots of wisdom to share with us. It's comforting to hear from people who work in the journalism that it isn't a dying field, no matter what anyone tells us… Hearing from Ms. Lowe made me incredibly excited for the future of journalism. While there is definitely still a place for traditional and simple print journalism, she made it very clear that the digital aspect of journalism isn't going away anytime soon. In fact, it's growing and gaining traction by the very second."
"Soft-spoken yet confident, Lowe shared her daily routine at CNN, showed us an example of great multi-platform journalism at CNN and gave helpful answers to journalistic questions… Lowe begins her workday with a 6:30 a.m. conference call with other CNN editors to discuss the day's events and trending topics."
"Mira Lowe showed us new tools that she uses everyday. Chartbeat is a real-time analytics tool that allows you to see what people are clicking on your site that very minute. Another tool she showed us was called News Whip. This is a tool that identifies trends on social media and scores links based on their 'social velocity' which tells you how quickly a story is being shared. These tools help her answer the question she works to answer each day, 'What should we be focusing on?'"
"One of the most beautiful aspects about Twitter is that it connects all users with the rest of the Twitter world. CNN can connect with anyone and anyone can connect with CNN. With Twitter, a sophomore journalism student at Marquette has the chance to communicate with a high profile editor at CNN."
"Connecting with others online and getting your work shared means using hashtags, sending it to targeted readers and responding when people interact with your writing. Social media is part of the storytelling process, adding another step for journalists to raise awareness and keep the world informed."
"Whenever she spoke it was like a switch was flicked in my head. It all made sense, because it was all true. The biggest question that young journalists have is how to get people to read their work. Lowe outlined all of it in her presentation. The use of original video, photos, social media, and most importantly finding unique stories."
''The best stories reveal an unexpected situation,' Lowe said. 'They find something unusual and paint a portrait of the situation' … As she spoke about the importance of dynamic, engaging journalism, Lowe explained why stories are important. 'They are how we relate, how we love and how we interact with each other.'"
"Mira explained different projects that her and her team had worked on during the past few years. These projects weren’t hard news. They weren’t about bombings, or killing or political leaders. Instead, they were about people… They were about simple people, who had simple stories and simple passions. And yet they were some of the most moving pieces I had ever seen."
"She introduced the class to work done by John Sutter, a CNN opinion columnist. The poor kids of Silicon Valley appeals to the viewer emotional through his use of photos and videos. He doesn't just tell you the socioeconomic inequality in a well known area. He shows you."
"Thanks to the reporters ability to gain the interviewee’s trust, journalist Stephanie Smith was able to put a human face on a devastating disease. 'Face to face is the best way to do it,' said Lowe. 'There is no replacement for face to face engagement.' Gaining the trust of your source is the key to a great personal in depth story."
"There are ultimately two things that Lowe reminded me that day. First, that specialization is the way to go. She told us that though it may be a bit harder to break in to the industry, in the long run, specialization is what she looks for in reporters. Second, that there are people out there who are writing about science in amazing, emotional and relevant ways. Science writing may be a shrinking profession, but there are still women and men out there who are passionate about teaching readers about how science is changing lives on a daily basis."
"After the lecture it was evident that Lowe knew what she was doing with her life. Hopefully, after some amazing advice and a spectacular lecture from her, we future journalists will learn to do the same."