@MCaputo_MPR – Hey Joel, it’s a blast doing this. @justplainbob says you should take it easy on me.
Q – #1 So @MCaputo_MPR, please share briefly where you grew up and what kind of training/schooling you’ve received.
A: Grew up outside of NYC. Graduated from liberal arts school in NY – St. Thomas Aquinas.
Worked 20+yrs in journalism – newspaper, radio, TV. PubMedia the last 8 years or so Much of it was in NY (Upstate)
Came to MN for two reasons – The unique job opportunity at MPR and because my wife is from Northern Minnesota.
Q – #2 Between print,radio & TV, which have you learned from the most? What kinds of stories do you enjoy sharing?
A: I feel as though I’ve learned much from all three venues. Print was where I was the most & probably informs my journalism the most.
Used to love breaking stories (my 1.0 version). Then it was investigative (2.0).
Now I like stories that make people say “Now I get it..” — those that put complex issues into perspective.
I remember one lesson – use the small to show the large. Concrete examples that illuminate the full story. Makes it real.
Q – #3 Nice! With you being a seasoned journalist, how has the internet/Social Media/YouTube world effected your work?
A: It’s an enormous shift. It’s an exciting time. But the “wild west” feel of the Internet means a lot of trying & failing.
Just to back up a bit…. The press has long had this problem of being seen as out of touch. There was some truth to this.
There was this sense that there needed to be a better relationship w/ those we were supposed to serve. A collaboration.
Technology opened a door. We have a way to collaborate w/ info. users in new ways… to involve them in story evolution.
I think that’s what MPR has in Public Insight. https://www.publicinsightnetwork.org/source/
Q – #4 How about your personal use of Social Media, what kind of people/businesses do you enjoy following?
A: Well, I’m doing the Twitter-Facebook-LinkedIn mashup. I do like following the folks in #journalism @jayrosen_nyu @jeffjarvis.
But then I have @newscut, @jongordon, @dbrauer. I love the wit of @TBoard. Its really hard to name them, there’s a lot.
I’ve really taken to a bit of advice on Twitter. Try not to give the blow-by-blow of your day. Instead pick a topic and get into that
Q – #5 I understand! :) Lets find out some of your FAVORITES: Restaurant, store, winter activity, hobby and TC’s neighborhood.
A: Whoops. Sorry about stepping over you. Hobbies, huh. I should warn you that I’m a bit of a homebody since I became a dad
But I really like getting out and skating w/ the kids. My wife and I are taking up X-country Skiing again.
I write fiction (when I can) … and, no, nothing published. I play guitar (a hold over from my garage band days)
And, I’m a St. Paul guy, so the Grand Avenue area holds great appeal for me. But, in a way, I feel like I’m still learning the TC’s
Sorry, I wanted to be more exciting than that. But I held back on putting cliff-diving and rock-climbing in there.
Q – #6 Whew! We want to think of @MPR folks as safe & steady. :) As an Easterner, how has the transition to Midwest life been?
A: Well, we’ve been slow to integrate. But that says more about being the parents of two little kids. But we also have family here
It’s amazing to see here the level of civic participation. NY could take a lesson or two from Minnesota when it comes to involvement.
The spirit of trying to work through local problems is clear to me here. So I don’t buy the whole “stoic midwestern” rap.
I guess to summarize …my wife and I plan on growing old here (although I’m quite aways there already).
Q – #7 No problem. To end, what advice would you give to students looking to get into the field of journalism?
A: Fail. What I mean is to try new forms of storytelling, new ways to collaborate with those you serve. And don’t be afraid to fail.
Learn print, radio, video, digital modes of expression. And be bold. It’s a time for that in #journalism.
Finally, tell your stories for the people you are serving… even when there are pressures to do otherwise.
@JoelECarlson – Good points and insights today @MCaputo_MPR! Thank you very much for being a guest, and thank you also for your time.
@MCaputo_MPR – It’s been really fun @JoelECarlson . You’re welcome.