Richard Koci Hernandez is an internationally recognized, award-winning journalist, professor and digital media ambassador. He is the co-author of “The Principles of Multimedia Journalism: Packaging Digital News.” Koci Hernandez is a national Emmy award-winning multimedia producer who worked as a visual journalist at the San Jose Mercury News for 15 years. His photographic work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New Yorker, Time, Newsweek, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and a National Geographic Book on iPhone Photography, among others. He has been named one of the “Top 25 Influential Communications Professors” and one of the “Top 100 Photographers on the Web.” Since 2011, he has been an Assistant Professor of New Media at the Graduate School of Journalism at UC Berkeley.
Richard Koci Hernandez’s secrets to building an online brand
- Slow down and go analogue
As a professor and digital media ambassador, you have to be a master of words and ideas to keep people inspired. What do you do to keep coming up with new inspiration?
Finding inspiration these days is easier than ever, but therein lies the problem. Oftentimes it feels like trying to drink from a firehose. One of my tried and true methods of finding inspiration and feeling inspired might seem counterintuitive for a “new media” professor, but I unplug. I visit my nearest local bookstore and spend a few hours in sections I might not normally frequent. Thumbing through books, magazines, graphic novels, sci-fi, metaphysics, etc. I find it relaxing and totally within my control to make choices. The Net, on the other hand, constantly feeds me whether I like it or not, and I have less control of the stream. I certainly find plenty of inspiration, but it feels like more of an uncontrolled flood rather than something I choose with intent. So I would just say that what works for me is to slow down and go analogue. Touch books, paints, pencils, notebooks, newspapers, magazines, etc.
What story do you tell the most to people who meet you for the first time?
Usually it’s the story about how my career in journalism started as a bet. Needless to say, I won.
What values do you hold closest to your heart?
Honesty. There is too little of it and it’s the key to unlocking true love, friendship and creative work.
What song, book or inspirational person best describes your story as a professor and digital media ambassador?
That song by the Rolling Stones that goes, “You can’t always get what you want but sometimes you get what you need…”
What’s the question nobody ever asks you but you wish they would?
“What’s your secret to beautiful skin?”