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Jul 17 / King Kaufman

Google’s Gingras: In a revolution, you have to keep reinventing yourself

I almost never say this about former bosses, but when Richard Gingras speaks, it’s a good idea to listen.

Gingras, who was the CEO during my last few years at Salon, now oversees Google News as well as product development for Google+. He’s been at the forefront of media changes for four decades: He once shared with me some photos of a TV-based “online” news product he worked on in 1980. It was like looking at Internet cave drawings.

In his commencement address at the West Virginia University journalism school earlier this year, Gingras talked, as he often does, about the state of media, and how to think about building a career in this era, which he calls “nothing less than a revolution in mass communications, nothing less than a creative renaissance in media and journalism.”

The entire talk, which begins at 16:00 and is not quite 20 minutes, is worth a listen, but if you’re just launching a career in media, pay close attention to the advice he gives starting around 31:00:

While this revolutionary era presents extraordinary opportunity, such a fast changing world also requires a different approach to developing and managing one’s career. Again, let’s remember, technological change will not abate. It will only quicken. Just as companies must constantly innovate to maintain relevance and success, each of us as individuals must do so as well.

Here’s the Google+ post Gingras tells the graduates he’s putting up at the start of the speech.